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, 


POEMS OF GOETHE 



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'neUral lili nrkø 


iRrynurb t
l' 111 ox 


By 
J. \V. VON GOETIIE 


l"ranslated by 
John Storer Cohh 


Edited by Nathan Haskell Do1e 


VOLUl\fE VII 



 


. 


iIlobl'rtson. 1\sl,forb uub fßl'utlty 
LO
DO
 BERLI
 
NEW YORK 



1.Eðitinu 1l1r 1Cuxr 


This Edition is l.,z'nzifed to One Thollsand Coþil's 


Coþyrzght, I902 
Bv FRANCIS A. 
ICCOJ..I4S & Co. 



Contents 


Dedication 
To the Kind Reader 

ound, Sweet Song . 
The Modern Amadis . 
When the Fox Dies His 
Skin Counts 
The Coquette . 
The 'Vild Rose 
The Breeze 
Blindman's Buff 
Christel 
Smitten 
Reservation 
Resol ve 
Treasure Trove 
The Muses' Son 
Reciprocal Invitation to 
the Dance 
Like and Like . 
Self-Deceit 
Declaration of War 
Lover in All Shapes 
The Goldsmith's Appren- 
tice 
Answers in a Game of 
Questions 
Different Emotions on the 
Same Spot 
The Misanthrope 
Different Threats 
Who'll Buy Cupid? 
True Enjoyment 
Maiden 'Vishes 
The Farewell 
Moti ves 
The Lovely Night 
Love's Dream . 


PAGE 
1 
5 
5 
6 


7 
8 
8 
9 
9 
10 
11 
12 
13 
13 
14 
15 
16 
16 
17 
18 
20 
21 
22 
23 
24. 
24 
26 
27 
28 
29 
29 
30 


Living Remembrance 
The Bliss of Absence 
To Luna. 
The 'Vedding Night 
Mischievous Joy 
N ovem ber Song 
To the Chosen One . 
_First Loss 
A pparen t Death 
After-Sensations 
Presen ce . 
Separation 
To the Distant One. 
By the River 
The Exchange. 
:Farewell . 
'Velcome and Departure . 
New Love, New Life 
To Belinda 
With an Embroidered 
Ribbon. 
Second Life 
To My Mistress 
Flower-Salute. 
'Vith a Golden Necklace. 
May Song 
On the Lake 
From the Mountain. 
May Song 
Early Spring 
In Summer 
A utumn Feelings 
Restless Love . 
The Shepherd's Lament. 
Night Song 
Comfort in Tears 
Longing 
vii 


PAGE 
30 
31 
32 
33 
34 
34 
35 
36 
36 
36 
37 
38 
38 
39 
39 
40 
40 
41 
42 
43 
44 
44 
45 
46 
46 
48 
49 
49 
50 
51 
51 
52 
53 
54 
54 
56 



viii 


PAGE 
The Castle on the Moun- 
tain 
To :l\lignon 
Spirit Greeting 
1'0 a Golden Heart He 
'Vas 'Vearing on His 
Neck 60 
'Vanderer's Night-Song. 61 
Ilm, th e Ri vel', to the 
l\loon 
Huntsman's Evening Song 
Evening 
To Lina 
Ever and Everywhere 
Delight of Sorrow . 
Proximity 
A Night Thought . 
Petition . 
To His Coy One 
Rollicking Hans 
To Lida . 
Reciprocal 
The :Freebooter 
Joy and Sorrow 
l\larch 
April 
May 
June .. 
Next Year's Spring. 
Swiss Song 
Sicilian Song . 
At Midnight Hour 
To the Rising Full ïvloon 
The Bridegroom 
Such, Such Is He 'Vho 
Pleaseth 1\le . 
Gipsy Song 
The Destruction of l\lagde- 
burg 
Finnish Song 
Depression 
Sorrow'Vithout Consola- 
tion 
The Parting 
On the New Year 
Anniversary Rong 
The Rpring Oracle 
The Happy Couple . 
Rong of Fellowship. 
Constancy in Change 


CONTENTS 


57 
59 
60 


PAGE 
93 
95 


79 
80 
81 


Table Song . 
'Vont and Done . 
Vanitas, Vanitatum Vani- 
tas 
Fortune of 1Var 
Coptic Song 
Another . 
Open Table 
The Reckoning 

1ignon . 
General Confession . 
Ergo Bibanlus ! 
The l\1instrel 
Epiphanias 
Ballad 
The Faithless Boy . 
The Erl-King 
Johanna Sebus 
The Violet . 
The Beauteous Flower 
Sir Curt's 'Vedd.ing Jour- 
ney 
'Vedding Song 
The Fisherman 
The Hat-Catcher 
The King of Th ule . 
The Treasure-Seeker 
The Spinner 
The Youth and the l\1ill- 
Stream . . 
The l\Iaid of the 1\fill's 
Treachery 
The l\laid of the :l\lill' s 
Repentance . 
The 'Valking Bell 
The Traveller and the 
Farm Maiden 
The Page and the :Miller's 
Daughter 145 
Faithful Eckart 147 
The Dance of the Dead 149 
Effect at a Distance 150 
The Bride of Corinth 152 
The Pupil in l\lagic . 159 
Before a Court of Justice IG2 
The God and the Baya- 
dere IG3 
The Pariah IG6 
Death I.Jament of the N 0- 
ble 'Vife of Asan Aga. 172 


96 
û8 
100 
100 
101 
103 
106 
107 
108 
109 
III 
112 
115 
117 
118 
120 
121 


62 
63 
G4 
64 
65 
65 
65 
66 
66 
66 
67 
G8 
68 
GO 
G9 
70 
71 
71 
72 
74 
74 
75 
7Ö 
76 


124 
125 
128 
129 
130 
131 
132 


133 


136 


76 


138 
141 


77 
78 


142 


82 
82 
8 <) 
t) 
84 
86 
87 
90 
91 



CONTENTS 


Idyll 
Rinaldo . 
The First ""'alpurgis- 
Night. . 
To 
Iy Friend . 
Song of the 
pirits over 
th e 'Vaters 

:Iahomet's Song 

Iy Goddess 
Hartz :\Iountains 
The Wanderer's Storlll- 
Song 
To Father Kronos 
The Sea-Voyage 
The Eagle and the Dove 
Ganymede 
Prometheus 
Limits of Humanity 
The Godlike 
The German Parnassus . 
Love's Distresses 
Lili's l\lenagerie 
To Charlotte 
l\Iorning Lament 
The Visit. 
The Musagetes 
The 'Vater-Man 
Psyche 
In Absence 
The l\Iagic Net 
The Church'Vindow 
The Cavalier's Choice 
The Artist's l\:Iorning 
Song 
The Goblet 
From an Albulll of 1604 . 
To the Grasshopper 
From H The Sorrows of 
Young 'Verther " . 
Trilogy of Passion 
For Ever . 
Lines on Seeing Schiller's 
Skull 
On the Divan 
Royal Prayer 
Human }....eelings 
Explanation of an An- 
cient 'V oodcut, Repre. 
sellting Hans Sachs's 
Poetical :\1ission 


PAGE 
175 
17U 


18! 
188 


The Friendly Meeting 
In a'Vord 
The 
Iaiden Speaks 
Growth 
}'ood in Travel 
Departure 
The Loving One ,,-rrites 
The Loving One Once 
More 
The Doubters and the 
Lovers . 
She Cannot End 
1\ emesis . 
The Christmas-Box. 
The \Varnillg 
The Epochs L. 
Charade 
The Soldier's Consolation 
To Originals 
Genial Impulse 
1\either This nor That 
The 'Yay to Behave 
The Best . 
As Broad as It's Long 
The Rule of Life 
The Same, Expanded 
Calm at Sea 
The Prosperous V oy age . 
Courage 
Admonition 
l\Iy Only Property 
Old Age . 
Epitaph 
H ule for 
lonarchs 
Paulo Post Futuri 
The }'ool's Epilogue 
Authors 
Cat-Pie 
Joy. 
Explanation of an An- 
tique Gem 
I..egend 
The 'Vrangler . 
The Critic 
The Yelpers 
The Htork's Vocation 
The Dilettante and the 
Critic 
Poetry 
Celebrity . 


192 
1 f):J 
1H5 
198 


201 
205 
20G 
208 
20n 
210 
212 
213 
215 
222 
22:3 
2:!7 
228 
230 
232 
23-:1: 
235 
236 
236 
237 
288 


240 
243 
244 
24
 


246 
24() 
2;)4 


254 
2'")
 
2
ü 
256 


256 


ix 


PAGE 
2û2 
2û2 
263 
264 
2ß4 
2()5 
2û;) 


2ß6 


. 2ü7 
2ü7 
2û8 
2H8 
2ûu 
2ün 
270 
270 
271 
271 
271 
271 
272 


272 


272 
272 
27:3 
273 
274 
274 
27-:1: 
27;") 
275 
275 
27,") 
27û 
277 


2 ,...... 
I j 
278 


279 
280 
280 
281 
281 
282 


282 
283 
283 



x 


Playing at Priests . 
Songs 
A Parable . 
Should E'er the Loveless 
Day 
A Plan the Muses Enter- 
tained 
The Death of the Fly 
By the River 
The Fox and the Hunts- 
man 
The Frogs 
The 'Vedding . 
The Fox and Crane 
Burial 
The Buyers 
Symbols . 
Threatening Signs 
The Mountain Village 
Three Palinodias 
A Symbol 
Valediction 
The Country Schoolmas- 
ter 
The Legend of the Horse- 
shoe 
The Wanderer 
The Drops of Nectar 
Love as a Landscape 
Pain ter 
God, Soul, and W orId 
The Metamorphosis of 
Plan ts . 
Religion and Church 
Proverbs . 
Tame Xenia 
Exculpation 
Phoæmion 
The Park 
ANTIQUES 
Leopold, D u k e 0 f 
Brunswick 


CONTENTS 


PAGE 
. 284 
. 286 
286 


287 
287 
. 288 


. 288 
289 
289 
290 
. 291 
291 
292 
292 
293 
293 
29û 
297 


313 
317 
822 
. 322 
323 
324 
32::> 


. 326 


287 


Anacreon's Grave 
'fhe Husbandman 
The Brothers 
Love's Hour-Glass 
\Varning 
Philomela 
The Chosen Rock 
Solitude 
Holy :,Family 
The :Muses' l\firror 
The Teachers 
,Marriage Unequal 
Phæbus and Hermes 
The 'V reaths 
The New Love 
The Consecrated Spot. 
Sakontala 
Distichs 
The Chinaman in 
Rome 
Perfect Bliss 
Proverbs 
Venetian Epigrams 
ELEGIES 
Roman Elegies 
Alexis and bora . 
SDng of the Fate
 
SO
GS FRO)I V ARIOGS 
l'LA Y::5. ETC. 
From Faust . 
From Faust - Second 
Part . 
From Götz Von Ber- 
lichingen 
From Egmont 
From \Vilhelm :\[eis- 
ter's Apprenticeship. 
Philine's Song. 
Epilogue to Schiller's 
" Song of the Bell " 
L'Envoi . 


PAGE 
326 
326 
826 
327 
327 
327 
328 
328 
3i9 
3i9 
329 
330 
330 
330 
331 
332 
332 
333 


334 
334 
334 
335 


298 


299 
301 
308 
309 
312 


. 340 
34!) 
354 


356 
366 
374 
375 
376 
378 
379 
382 



List of Illustrations 


POEMS 


II AREA UTEOUS MAID WITH DOWNCAST LOOK J7 . 
II HALF DREW HI
 IN, HALF LURED HI
 IN " 


REYNARD THE FOX 


" BETWEEN THE BARE LEGS OF THE PRIEST" . 
II AND ABUNDANCE WAS FURNISHED FOR ALL" . 


PAGE 
Frontispiece 
128 


43 
122 




Poems of Goethe 


DEDICATION. 


I. 
THE morning came. Its footsteps scared away 
The gentle sleep that hovered lightlyo'er llle; 
I left nlY quiet cot to greet the day, 
And gaily clinlbed the nlountaillside before IHe. 
The sweet young flowers! how fresh were they and 
tender, 
Brimful ,vith dew upon the sparkling lea; 
The young day opened in exulting splendour, 
And all around seenled glad to gladden nle. 


n. 
And, as I lllounted, o'er the Ineadow ground 
A white and fllnlY essence 'gan to hover; 
It sailed and shifted till it henllued me round, 
Then rose above Iny head, and floated over. 
No more I sa,v the beauteous scene unfolded- 
It lay beneath a melancholy shroud; 
And soon was I, as if in vapour moulded, 
Alone, within the twilight of the cloud. 


III. 
At once, as though the sun were struggling through, 
Within the mist a sudden radiance started; 
I 



2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Here sunk the vapour, but to rise anew, 
There on the peak, and upland forest parted. 
Oh, how I panted for the first clear glealning, 
Made by the gloom it banished doubly bright I 
It came not, but a glory round Ille beaming, 
And I stood blinded by the gush of light. 


IV. 
A mon1ent, and I felt enforced to look, 
By some strange Í1uvulse of the heart's emotion; 
But nlore than one quick glance I scarce could brook, 
For all ,vas burning like a IDolten ocean. 
There, in the glorious clouds that seelned to bear her, 
A form angelic hovered in the air; 
Ne'er did my eyes behold a vision fairer, 
And still she gazed upon me, floating there. 


v. 
"Dost thou not know me ?" and her voice was soft 
As truthful love, and holy calm it sounded. 
" Know'st thou -not me, ,vho Illany a tinle and oft 
Poured balsam in thy hurts when sorest wounded? 
Ah, ,veIl thou kno,vest her, to whonl for ever 
Thy heart in union pants to be allied! 
Have I not seen the tears - the ,vild endeavour 
That even in boyhood brought me to thy side?" 


VI. 
It Yes I I have felt thy influence oft," I cried, 
And sank on earth before her, half-adoring; 
"Thou brought'st me rest ,vhen passion's lava tide, 
Thra' IllY young veins like liquid fire was pouring. 
And thou hast fan ned, as ,vith celestial pinions, 
In sumlner's heat, my parched and fevereù brow; 
Gav'st me the choicest gifts of earth's dominions, 
And, save through thee, I seek no fortun
 now. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 


VII. 
"I name thee not, but I have heard thee named, 
And heard thee sty led their own ere now by many; 
All eyes believe at thee their glance is aimed, 
Though thine effulgence is too great for any. 
Ah! I had many comrades whilst I wandered- 
I know thee now, and stand almost alone: 
I veil thy light, too precious to be squandered, 
And share the inward joy I feel with none." 


VIII. 
Smiling, she said - "Thou seest 'twas wise from thee 
To keep the fuller, greater revelation: 
Scarce art thou fronl grotesque delusions free, 
Scarce master of thy childish first sensation; 
Yet deem'st thyself so far above thy brothers, 
That thou hast won the right to scorn them! Cease. 
'Who made the yawning gulf 'twixt thee and others? 
Know - know thyself -live with the world in_ 
peace." 


IX. 
"Forgive me!" I exclaimed, " I Ineant no ill, 
Else should in vain my eyes be disenchanted; 
Within my blood there stirs a genial ,vill- 
I know the worth of all that thou hast granted. 
That boon I hold in trust for others merely, 
N or shall I let it rust within the ground; 
Why sought lout the pathway so sincerely, 
If not to guide my brothers to the bound?" 


X. 
And as I spoke, upon her radiant face 
Passed a sweet smile, like breath across a mirror, 
And in her eyes' bright meaning I could trace 
What I had answered well, and what in error.. 



4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


She smiled, and then my heart regained its lightness, 
And bounded in Iny breast ,vith rapture high: 
Then durst I pass within her zone of brightness, 
And gaze upon her with unquailing eye. 


XI. 
Straightway she stretched her hand among the thin 
And watery haze that round her presence hovered; 
Slowly it coiled and shrunk her grasp within, 
And 10 ! the landscape lay once more uncovered- 
Again mine eye could scan the sparkling meadow, 
I looked to heaven, and all ,vas clear and bright; 
I saw her hold a veil ,vithout a shadow, 
That undulated round her in the light. 


XII. 
"I know thee! - all thy weakness, all that yet 
Of good within thee lives and glows, I've measured; n 
She said - her voice I never Inay forget- 
" Accept the gift that long for thee was treasured. 
Oh! happy he, thrice-blessed in earth and heaven, 
Who takes this gift with soul serene and true, 
The veil of song, by Truth's own fingers given, 
Enwoven of sunshine and the morning dew. 


X III. 
" Wave but this veil on high, whene'er beneath 
The noonday fervour thou and thine are glowing, 
And fragrance of all flowers around shall breathe, 
And the cool winds of eve con1e freshly blowing. 
Earth's cares shall cease for thee, and all its riot; 
Where gl00n1ed the grave, a starry couch be seen; 
The waves of life shall sink in halcyon quiet; 
The days be lovely fair, the nights serene." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


5 


XIV. 
Come then, my friends, and whether 'neath the load 
Of heavy griefs ye struggle on, or whether 
Your better destiny shall strew the road 
'\Vith flowers, and golden fruits that cannot wither, 
United let us move, still forward striving; 
So while we live shall joy our days illume, 
And in our children's hearts our love surviving 
Shall gladden them, when we are in the tomb. 
A. :M. 


TO THE KIND READER. 


Noone talks more than a poet; 
Fain he'd have the people know it, 
Praise or blanle he ever loves ; 
None in prose confess an error, 
Yet we do so, void of terror, 
In the J\lfuses' silent groves. 


What I erred in, what corrected, 
What I suffered, what effected, 
To this wreath as flowers belong; 
For the aged and the youthful, 
And the vicious and the truthful, 
All are fair when viewed in song. 


SOUND, SWEET SONG. 


SOUND, sweet song, from some far land, 
Sighing softly close at hand, 
N ow of joy, and now of woe! 
Stars are wont to glimlner so. 
Sooner thus will good unfold; 
Children young and children old 
Gladly hear thy nurnbers flow. 



6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE 1\IODERN Al\fADIS. 


THEY kept Ille guarded close, while )get 
A little tiny elf, 
And so I sat, and did beget 
A \vorld \vithin myself, 
All I cared to see. 


Golden fancy then unfurled 
Endless sights to n1e, 
And a gallant knight I grew; 
Like the Prince Pipi, 
Roalued tbroughout the world, 
Many a crystal palace saw, 
l\fany overthrew; 
My far-flashing falchion hurled 
Through the dragon's ilIa w. 
Ha! then I was a luan ! 


N ext I freed in knightly wise 
The Princess Periban ; 
Oh, the wonder of her eyes, 
Smiling, as I wooed 
Her with hearted sighs! 
Her kiss, it was an1brosial food, 
Glowed like noble \vine; 
With love, ob, I \vas alnlost dead! 
A golden haze divine 
She around her shed. 


'Who has torn her from my sight? 
Can no spell delay 
That dear vision, stay her flight? 
Where her hOllIe, oh, say? 
And thither, \vhich the way? 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


,.. 
i 


WHEN THE FOX DIES HIS SKIN COUNTS.l 


WE young people in the shade 
Sat one sultry day; 
Cupid came, and " Dies the Fox" 
With us sought to play. 


Each one of my friends then sat 
By his mistress dear; 
Cupid, blowing out the torch, 
Said: "The taper's here! " 


Then we quickly sent around 
The expiring brand ; 
Each one put it hastily 
In his neighbour's band. 


Dorilis then gave it me, 
With a scoffing jest; 
Sudden into flame it broke, 
By my fingers pressed. 


And it singed my eyes and face, 
Set my breast on fire; 
Then above my head the blaze 
l\founted ever higher. 


Vain I sought to put it out; 
Ever burned the flame; 
'Stead of dying, soon the Fox 
Livelier still became. 


1 The name of a game known in English as "JacK'S Alight." 



8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE COQUETTE. 


O'ER the meadows tripped sweet Kitty, 
On a dewy morn in spring, 
Like a lark, her blithesome ditty 
Gaily, lightly carolling, 
So la la! Le ralla. 


Lubin, as she passed beside him, 
Offered two lambs for a kiss; 
Roguishly awhile she eyed him, 
Tripped away, then carolled this, 
So la la ! Le ralla. 


Ribbons red young Colin proffers, 
Robin with his heart would wile, 
But she mocks at all their offers, 
Singing, as she mounts the stile, 
So la la ! Le ralla. 


THE WILD ROSE. 


A BOY espied, in morning light, 
A little rosebud blowing; 
'Twas so delicate and bright, 
That he came to feast his sight, 
And wonder at its gro\ving 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red, 
Rosebud brightly blowing! 


"I will gather thee," - he cried,- 
"Rosebud brightly glowing!" 
"Then I'll sting thee," it replied, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


9 


" And you'll quickly start aside 
With the prickle glowing." 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red, 
Rosebud brightly blo,ving ! 


But he plucked it from the plain, 
The rosebud brightly blowing! 
It turned and stung him, but in V
q - 
He regarded not the pain, 
Homeward with it going, 
Rosebud, rosebud, rosebud red, 
Rosebud brightly blowing! 


THE BREEZE. 


THE mists they are scattered, 
The blue sky looks brightly, 
And Eolus looses 
The wearisome chain! 
The winds, how they ,vhistle ! 
The steersman is busy- 
Hillio-ho, hillio-ho ! 
We dash through the billows- 
They flash far behind us- 
Land, land, boys, again! 


BLIND
IAN'S BUFF, 


OR, my Theresa dear! 
Thine eyes I greatly fear 
Can through the bandage see! 
Although thine eyes are bound, 
By thee rIn quickly found, 
And wherefore shouldst thou catch but l11e. 



:0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Ere long thou held'st Ine fast, 
"\Vith arms around me cast, 
Upon thy breast I fell; 
Scarce was thy bandage gone, 
When all my joy was flown, 
Thou coldly didst the blind repel. 


He groped on every side, 
nis limbs he sorely tIied, 
"\Vhile scoffs arose all round; 
If thou no love wilt give, 
In sadness I shallli ve, 
As if mine eyes remained still bound, 


CHRISTEL. 


My senses ofttimes are oppressed, 
Oft stagnant is my blood; 
But when by Christel's sight I'm blest 
I feel nlY strength renewed. 
I see her here, I see her there, 
And really cannot tell 
The manner how, the when, the where, 
The \\
hy I love her well. _ 


If 'with the merest glance I view 
Her black and roguish eyes, 
And gaze on her black eyebrows too, 
l\ly spirit up,vard flies. 
Has anyone a Inonth so sweet, 
Such love-round cheeks as she? 
Ah, when the eye her beauties meet, 
It ne'er content can be. 


And when in airy German dance 
I clasp her form divine, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


So quick we whirl, so quick advance, 
What rapture then like mine! 
And when she's giddy, and feels ,varm, 
I cradle her, poor thing, 
Upon my breast, and in n1Ïne arm,- 
I'm then a very king! 


And when she looks with love of me, 
Forgetting all but this, 
When pressed against my bosom, she 
Exchanges kiss for kiss, 
All through nlY marrow runs a thrill, 
Runs e'en my foot along! 
I feel so well, I feel so ill, 
I feel so weak, so strong! 


Would that such moments ne'er would end! 
The day ne'er long I find; 
Could I the night too ,vith her spend, 
E'en then I should not mind. 
If she were in mine arms but held, 
To quench love's thirst I'd try; 
And could nlY torments not be quell'd, 
Upon her breast would die. 


SMITTEN. 


THROUGH the wood as I was roaming, 
There a gentle youth I spied, 
Piping sweetly in the gloaming, 
Till the rocks around replied, 
So la la ! 


And beside him down he ùrew me, 
Called me fair" and kissed llle then. 


II 



12 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


"Pipe once more!" I said, and through me 
Thrill'd his music sweet again. 
So la la ! 


N ow my peace is flown, and never 
Comes a smile into mine eye, 
And within my ears for ever 
Rings that nlusic, and I sigh, 
So la la ! 


RESERV ATION. 


My maiden she proved false to me ; 
To hate all joys I soon began, 
Then to a flo,ving stream I ran,- 
The strearll ran past lue hastily. 


There stood I fixed, in lIlute despair; 
l\.fy head s,vaUl round as in a dream; 
I ,veIl-nigh fell into the strealn, 
Ând earth seelned with Ine ,,'hirling there. 


Sudden I heard a voice that cried- 
I had just turned IllY face fronl thence- 
It ,vas a voice to charnl each sense: 
" Beware, for deep is yonder tide! " 


 thrillulY blood pervaded no,v, 
I looked, and saw a beauteous nlaid ;- 
I asked her name - 't,vas Kate, she said- 
,; Oh, lovely Kate! how kind art thou! 


"From death I have been saved by thee, 
'Tis through thee only that I live; 
Little 'twere life alone to give, 
1\1 y joy in life then deign to be!" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


13 


And then I told my sorrows o'er, 
Her eyes to earth she sweetly threw; 
I kissed her, and she kissed me too, 
And - then I talked of death no Inore, 


RESOL VE. 


ON, on across the plains and feel no dread! 
Where not the boldest hath 
Trod down a path, which thou may'st safely tread, 
Make for thyself a path! 


Still thou my heart, dear love! It will not break 
Though bent awhile it be; 
And if it needs must be, that it shall break, 
It breaks not, love, with thee. 


TREASURE TROVE. 


THROUGH the forest iàly, 
As my steps I bent, 
With a free and happy heart, 
Singing as I went. 


Cowering in the shade I 
Did a floweret spy, 
Bright as any star in heaven, 
Sweet as any eye. 


Down to pluck it stooping, 
Thus to me it said, 
".Wherefore pluck me only 
To wither and to fade?" 


. 



14 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Up with its roots I dug it, 
I bore it as it grew, 
And in my garden-plot at home 
I planted it anew ; 


All in a still and shady place, 
Beside my home so dear, 
And now it thanks me for my pains 
And blossoms all the year. 


THE l\1USES' SON. 


[Goethe quotes the beginning of this son A' in his Autobiog- 
raphy, as expressing the manner in which his poetical effusions 
used to pour out from him.] 


THROUGH field and wood to stray 
And pipe my tuneful lay, - 
'Tis thus nlY days are passed; 
And all keep tune with me, 
And nlove on in harmony, 
And so on, to the last. 


To wait I scarce have power 
The garden's earliest flower. 
The tree's first bloom in spring; 
They hail nlY joyous strain,- 
When winter comes again, 
Of that sweet drearn J sing. 


My song sounds far and near, 
O'er ice it echoes clear, 
Then winter blossonls bright; 
And when his blossoms fly, 
Fresh raptures meet Inine eye, 
U pOll the well-tilled height. 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


15 


When 'neath the linden-tree, 
Young folks I chance to see, 
I set them moving soon; 
His nose the dull lad curls, 
The formal Inaiden whirls, 
Obedient to my tune. 


Wings to the feet ye lend, 
O'er hill and vale ye send 
The lover far from home; 
When 8hall I, on your breast, 
Ye kindly ßIuses, rest, . 
And cease at length to roam? 


RECIPROCAL INVITATION TO THE DANCE. 


THE INDIFFERENT. 
CO:ME to the dance ",-ith me, conle with me, fair one! 
Dances a feast-day like this may well cro\vn ; 
If thou my sweetheart art not, thou canst be so, 
But if thou wilt not, we still will dance on. 
COllIe to the ùance \vith me, come with n1e, fair one! 
Dances a feast-day like this n)ay well crown. 


THE TENDER. 
Loved one, without thee, what then would all feasts be ? 
Sweet OIJ.e, without thee, what then were the dance? 
If thou my s\veetheart wert not, I would dance not, 
If thou art, still so, all life is one feast, 
Loved one, without thee, what then would the feast be ? 
Sweet one, without thee, what then were the ùance ? 


THE INDIFFERENT. 
Let them but love, then, and leave us the dancing I 
Languishing love cannot bear the glad dance. 



16 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Let us whirl round in the waltz's gay measure, 
And let then/; steal to the dim-lighted wood. 
Let them but love, then, and leave us the dancing I 
Languishing love cannot bear the glad dance. 


THE TENDER. 
Let them whirl round, then, and leave us to wander J 
'Vand'ring to love is a heavenly dance. 
Cupid, the near one, o'erhears their deriding, 
'T engeance takes suddenly, vengeance takes soon. 
Let them whirl round, then, and leave us to wander J 
Wand'ring to love 'is a heavenly dance. 


LIKE AND LIKE. 


A FAIR bell-flower 
Sprang up froIll the ground, 
And early its fragrance 
It shed all around; 
A bee came thither 
And sipped froIll its bell;- 
That they for each other 
Were lnade, we see well. 


SELF - DECEIT. 


My neighbour's curtain, well I see, 
Is moving to and fro. 
No doubt she's listening eagerly, 
If I'm at home or no, 


And if the jealous grudge I bore 
And openly confessed; 
Is nourished by me as before, 
Within my inmost breast. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Alas! no fancies such as these 
E'er crossed the dear child's thoughts. 
I see 'tis but the evening breeze 
That with the curtain sports. 


DECLAI{ATION OF WAR. 


OR, \vould I resembled 
The country girls fair, 
Who rosy-red ribbons 
And yellow hats wear! 


To believe I was pretty 
I thought was allowed; 
In the town I believed it 
When by the youth vowed. 


N ow that spring hath returned, 
All lllY joys disappear; 
The girls of the country 
Have lured him from here, 


To change dress and figure, 
Was needful, I found, 
l\Iy bodice is longer, 
1\1 y petticoat round. 
l\Iy hat now is yellow, 
My bodice like snow; 
The clover to sickle 
With others I go. 


Something pretty, ere long 
Midst the troop he explores; 
The eager boy signs me 
To go within doors. 


, 


17 



18 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I bashfully go,- 
Who I am, he can't trace; 
He pinches my cheeks, 
And he looks in my face, 
The town girl now threatens 
You maidens with war; 
Her twofold charms pledges 
Of victory are. 


LOVER IN ALL SHAPES. 


To be like a fish, 
Brisk and quick is my wish; 
If thou calu'st with thy line, 
Thou wouldst soon make me thine, 
To be like a fish, 
Brisk and quick is my wish. 
Oh, were I a steed! 
Thou wouldst love me indeed. 
Oh, were I a car 
Fit to bear thee afar ! 
Oh, were I a steed! 
Thou wouldst love me indeed. 


I would I were gold 
That thy finger lnight hold! 
If thou boughtest aught then, 
I'd return soon again. 
I would I \vere gold 
That thy fingers might hold! 
I would I \vere true, 
And my sweetheart still new! 
To be faithful I'd swear, 
And would go a'way ne'er. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


I would I were true, 
And my sweetheart still new J 


I would I were old, 
And wrinkled and cold, 
So that if thou said'st No, 
I could stand such a blow! 
I would I were old, 
And \vrinkled and cold. 


An ape I would be, 
Full of mischievous glee; 
If aught came to vex thee, 
I'd plague and perplex thee. 
An ape I would be, 
Full of mischievous glee. 


As a lalnb I'd behave, 
As a lion be brave, 
As a lynx clearly see, 
As a fox cunning be. 
As a lamb I'd behave, 
As a lion be brave. 


Whatever I were, 
All on thee I'd confer 
'\Vith the gifts of a prince 
l\fy affection evince. 
Whatever I were, 
All on thee I'd confer. 


As nought diff'rent can make me, 
As I am thou must take me ! 
If I'm not good enough, 
Thou must cut thine own stuff. 
As nought diffrent can Inake me, 
As I am thou must take me ! 


19 



20 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE GOLDSl\1ITH'S APPRENTICE. 


11y neighbour, none can e'er deny, 
Is a most beauteous maid; 
Her shop is ever in mine eye, 
When working at my trade. 


To ring and chain I hammer then 
The wire of gold assayed, 
And think the while: "For Kate, oh, when 
Will such a ring be made?" 


And when she takes her shutters down, 
Her shop at once invade, 
To buy and haggle, all the town, 
For all that's there displayed. 


I file, and may be overfile 
The wire of gold assayed, 

Iy master grumbles all the while,- 
Her shop the mischief n1ade. 


To ply her wheel she straight begins 
When not engaged in trade; 
I know full well for what she spins, - 
'Tis hope guides that dear maid. 


Her leg, while her small foot treads onJi 
Is in my mind portrayed; 
Her garter I recall anon,- 
I gave it that dear maid. 


Then to her lips the finest thread 
Is by her hand conveyed. 
Were I there only in its stead, 
How I \vould kiss the maid! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


ANSWERS IN A GAl\IE OF QUESTIONS, 


THE LADY. 
IN the small and great world too, 
What most charms a woman's heart? 
It is doubtless what is new, 
For its blossoms joy impart; 
Nobler far is what is true, 
For fresh blossoms it can shoot 
Even in the time of fruit. 


THE YOUNG GENTLEMAN. 
With the nymphs in wood and cave 
Paris was acquainted ,veIl, 
Till Zeus sent, to make him rave, 
Three of those in Heaven who dwell ; 
And the choice more trouble gave 
Than e'er fen to Inortal lot, 
Whether in old times or not. 


THE EXPERIENCED. 
Tenderly a woman view, 
And thou'lt win her, take my word 
He who's quick and saucy too, 
Will of all men be preferred; 
Who ne'er seenlS as if he knew 
If he pleases, if he charms,- 
He 'tis injures, he 'tis harms. 


THE CONTENTED. 
Manifold is human strife, 
Human passion, bUlnan pain: 
Many a blessing yet is rife, 
Many pleasures still remain. 


21 



22 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Yet the greatest bliss in life, 
And the richest prize we find, 
Is a good, contented n1ind. 


THE MERRY COUNSEL. 
He by whom man's foolish will 
Is each day reviewed and blamed, 
Who when others fools are still, 
Is hinlself a fool proclairned,- 
N e' er at mill was beast's back pressed 
With a heavier load than he. 
What I feel ,vithin Iny breast 
That in truth's the thing for me ! 


DIFFERENT E::\IOTIO
S ON THE SAME SPOT. 


THE MAIDEN. 
I'VE seen hinl before me! 
What rapture steals o'er Dle 
Oh, heavenly sight! 
He's coming to meet me ; 
Perplexed, I retreat me, 
With shanle take to flight. 
My mind seems to ,vander! 
Ye rocks and trees yonder, 
Conceal ye my rapture, 
Con ceal my delight! 


THE YOUTH. 
'Tis here I must find her, 
'Twas here she enshrined her, 
Here vanished from sight. 
She came, as to meet me, 
Then fearing to greet me, 
With shanle took to flight. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


. 


Is't hope 1 Do I wander 1 
Y é rocks and trees yonder, 
Disclose ye the loved one, 
Disclose my delight! 


THE LANGUISHING. 
O'er my sad fate I sorrow, 
To each dewy morrow, 
Veiled here from lnan's sight. 
By the many mistaken, 
Unknown and forsaken, 
Here wing I my flight! 
Compassionate spirit! 
Let none ever hear it,- 
Conceal my affliction, 
Conceal thy delight! 


THE HUNTER. 
To-day I'm rewarded; 
Rich booty's afforded 
By Fortune so bright, 
My servant, the pheasants, 
And hares fit for presents, 
Takes homeward at night.. 
Here see I enraptured 
In nets the birds captured!- 
Long life to the hunter! 
Long live his delight! 


THE MISANTHROPE. 


AT first awhile sits he, 
With calm, unruffled brow; 
His features then I see, 
Distorted hideously J - 


23 



24 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


An owl's they might be now. 
What is it, asketh thou? 
Is't love, or is't ennui? 
'Tis both at once, I vow. 


LATE resounds the early strain; 
Weal and woe in song remain, 


DIFFERENT THREATS. 


I ONCE into a forest far 
11y maiden went to seek, 
And fell upon her neck, when: "Ah!" 
She threatened, " I ,vill shriek!" 


Then cried I haughtily: "I'll crush 
The man that dares come near thee! " 
" Hush! " whispered she: "IOY loved one, hush! 
Or else they'll overhear thee! " 


WHO'LL BUY CUPID? 


OF all the wares so pretty 
That come into the city, 
There's none are so delicious, 
There's none are half so precious, 
As those which we are bringing. 
Oh, listen to our singing! 
Young loves to sell? young loves to sell I 
My pretty loves who'll buy 1 


First look you at the oldest, 
The wantonest.. the boldest I 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


25 


So loosely goes he hopping, 
Fronl tree and thicket dropping, 
Then flies aloft so sprightly! 
We dare but praise him lightly! 
The fickle rogue! Young loves to sell ! 
l\ly pretty loves 'who'll buy 1 


N ow see this little creature- 
Ho,v n10dest seenlS his feature! 
He nestles so demurely, 
You'd think him safer surely; 
And yet for all his shyness, 
There's danger in his slyness, 
The cunning rogu e ! Young loves to sell ! 
l\ly pretty loves ,vho'll buy? 


Oh, conle and see this lovelet, 
This -little turtle-dovelet ! 
The Inaidens that are neatest, 
The tenderest and sweetest, 
Shoulù buy it to amuse 'elTI, 
Anù nurse it in their boson}. 
The little pet ! Young loves to sell ! 
My pretty loves ,vho'll buy 1 


We need not bid you buy them, 
They're here, if you ,vill try them. 
They like to change their cages; 
But for their proving sages 
No warrant will we utter - 
They all have wings to flutter, 
The pretty things! Young loves to sell! 
Such beauties! Con1e and buy! 



26 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


TRUE ENJOYl\IENT. 


VAINLY wouldst thou, to gain a heart, 
Heap up a maiden's lap. \vith gold; 
The joys of love thou must ÏIllpart, 
\V ouldst thou e'er see those joys unfold. 
The voices of the throng gold buys. 
No single heart 'twill win for thee; 
Wouldst thou a maiden n1ake thy prize, 
Thyself alone the bribe must be. 


If by no sacred tie thou'rt bound, 
Oh, youth, thou must thyself restrain! 
\Vell may true liberty be found, 
Though man luay seem to \vear a chain. 
Let one alone inflalne thee e'er, 
And if her heart with love o'erflows, 
Let tenderness unite you there, 
If duty's self ,no fetter knows. 


First feel, oh, youth! A girl then find 
Worthy thy choice,-let he?' choose thee, 
In body fair, and fair in mind, 
And then thou \vilt be blest, like me. 
T \vho have made this art n1Ïne o\vn, 
A girl have chosen such as this; 
The blessing of the priest alone 
Is \vanting to complete ('ur bliss. 


Nought but my rapture is her guide, 
Only for me she cares to please,- 
Ne'er wanton save when by my side, 
And 1110ùest when the world she sees. 
That time our glow may never chill, 
She yielùs no right th
ough frailty; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


27 


Her favour is a favour still, 
And I n1ust ever grateful be. 


Yet I'm content, and full of joy, 
If she'll but grant her slnile so sweet, 
Or if at table she'll employ, 
To pillow hers, her lover's feet; 
Give me the apple that she bit, 
The glass from which she drank, bestow, 
And when n1Y kiss so orders it, 
Her bosom, veiled till then, will show. 


And ,vhen she wills of love to speak, 
In fond and silent hours of bliss, 
Words from her mouth are all I seek, 
N ought else I crave, - not e'en a kiss. 
With what a soul her mind is fraught, 
Wreathed round with charn1S unceasingly! 
She's perfect, - and she fails in nought 
Save in her deigning to love me. 


My reverençe thro,vs TIle at her feet, 
1\ly lon'ging throws me on her breast; 
This, youth, is rapture true and sweet; 
Be wise, thus seeking to be blest. 
When death shall take thee fron1 her side, 
To join th' angelic choir above, 
In heaven's bright n1ansions to abide,- 
No diff'rence at the change thou'lt prove. 


l\IAIDEN WISHES. 


WHAT pleasure to me 
A bridegroom would be! 
When married we are, 
They call us mamma. 



28 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


No need then to sew, 
To school we ne'er go ; 
Conlmand uncontrolled, 
Have maids '\vhom to scold; 
Choose clothes at our ease, 
Of what tradeslnen ,ve please; 
Walk freely about, 
And go to each rout, 
And unrestrained are 
By papa or mamma. 


THE FAREWELL. 


[Probably addressed to his mistress Frederica.] 


LET mine eye the fare,vell say, 
That my lips can utter ne'er; 
Fain I'd be a man to-day, 
Yet 'tis hard, oh, hard to bear! 


Mournful in an hour like tliis 
Is love's sweetest pledge, I ween; 
-Cold upon thy lllouth the kiss, 
Faint thy fingers' pl'essnre e'en. 


Oh, what rapture to nlY heart 
Used each stolen kiss to bring! 
As the violets joy impart, 
Gathered in the early spring. 


Now 'no garlands J ent'\vine, 
Now n1 roses pluck for thee, 
Though 'tis springtÏIne, Fanny mine, 
Dreary autumn 'tis to me ! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


29 


MOTIVES. 


IF to a girl who loves us truly 
Her Illother gives instruction duly 
In virtue, duty, and what not,- 
And if she hearkens ne'er a jot, 
But ,vith fresh-strengthened longing flies 
To Il1eet our kiss that see Ins to burn,- 
Caprice has just as nluch concern 
As love in her bold enterprise. 


But if her III other can succeed 
In gaining for her InaxÜns heed, 
And softening the girl's heart too, 
So that she coyly shuns our 'view,- 
The heart of youth she knows but ill ; 
For when a nlaiden is thus stern, 
Virtue in truth has less concern 
In this, than an inconstant will. 


THE LO.VEL Y NIGHT. 


FRO
I the cot, where softly sleeping 
Lies nlY bosom's love, I go, 
And with noiseless footstep crèeping, 
Thread the dusty ,vood, when 10 ! 
Bursts the moon through glade and greenwood, 
Soft the herald zephyrs play, 
And the waving birches sprinkle 
Sweetest incense on my way. 


How I revel in the coolness 
Of this beauteous sun1mer night 
Stilly dreaming here the fulness 
Of the panting soul's delight I 



3 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Words can paint not what lIlY bliss is, 
Yet, kind heaven, I'd yield to thee 
Nights a thousand, fair as this is, 
Would nlY love give one to lile! 


LOVE'S DREAl\i. 


THOU oft in dreams hast seen us stand 
Before the altar hand in hand, 
Thyself the bride, the bridegroom I. 
Oft on thy lips, \vhen none were watching, 
I've hung, unnurnbered kisses snatching, 
In hours of waking ecstasy. 


The purest rapture that \ve cherished, 
The bliss of hours so golden, perished 
Even with the hour that sa\v it rise. 
'Vhat reck that Inine have been such blisses? 
Fleeting as dreanls are fondest kisses, 
And like 
 kiss all pleasure dies. 


LIVING RE}\11El\IBRANCE. 


HALF vexed, half pleased, thy love will feel, 
Shouldst thou her knot or ribbon steal; 
To thee they're llluch - I 'VOll't conceal; 
Such self-deceit may pardoned be; 
A veil, a kerchief, garter, rings, 
In truth are no 11lore trifling things, 
But still they're not enough for me. 


She ,vho is dearest to my heart, 
Gave lile, with well dissembled smart, 
Of her own life a living part, 
No charm in aught beside I trace; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


How do I scorn thy paltry ware! 
A lock she gave me of the hair 
That wantons o'er her beauteous face. 


If, loved one, we must severed be, 
Wouldst thou not wholly fly from me, 
I still possess this legacy, 
To look at, and to kiss in play,- 
My fate is to the hair's allied, 
We used to woo her with like pride, 
And now we both are far away. 


Her charms with equal joy we pressed, 
Her sIniling cheeks anon caressed, 
Lured on\vard by a yearning blest, 
Upon her heaving bOSOll1 fell. 
Oh, rival, free from envy's sway, 
Thou precious gift, thou beauteous prey, 
Remain lilY joy and bliss to tell ! 


THE BLISS bF ABSENCE. 


'TIS sweet for him, the livelong day that lies, 
Wrapt- in the heaven of his dear lady's eyes, 
Whose dreams her image blesseth evermore, 
Love knoweth not a sharper joy than this, 
Yet greater, purer, nobler is the bliss, 
To be afar froln her whom we aùore! 


Distance and Time, eternal powers, that be 
Still, like the stars, o'erruling secretly, 
Cradle this tempest of the blood to peace. 
Calm grows my: soul, and calmer every hour, 
, Yet daily feels my heart a springing power, 
And daily finds my happiness increase. 


3 1 



3 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


All times she lives within Iny heart and brain, 
Yet can I think of her without a pain, 
My spirit soars away serene and free, 
And, by the strength of its divine emotion, 
Transforllls its love to all a saint's devotion, 
Refines desire into idolatry. 


The lightest cloudlet that doth fleck the sky, 
And floats along the sunshine airily, 
More lightly in its beauty floateth never, 
Than doth my heart, with tranquil joy elate. 
By fear untouched, for jealousy too great, 
I love, oh, yes, I love - I love her ever. 


TO LUNA. 


SISTER of the earliest light, 
Type of loveliness in sorrow, 
Silver mists thy radiance borrow, 
Even as they cross thy sight. 
When thou comest to the sky, 
In their dusky hollows ,vaken, 
Spirits that are sad, forsaken, 
Birds that shun the day, and I. 


Looking downward far and wide, 
Hidden things thou dost discover, 
Luna! help a hapless lover, 
Lift him kindly to thy side! 
Aided by thy friendly bearns, 
Let hiIn, through the lattice peeping, 
Look into the room where, sleeping, 
Lies the maiden of his dreams. 


Ah, I see her! N ow I gaze, 
Bending in a trance Elysian, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And I strain my inmost vision, 
And I gather all thy ra.ys. 
Bright and brighter yet I see 
Charnls no envious robes encunlber; 
And she draws me to her slumber 
As Endymion once drew thee. 


THE WEDDING NIGHT, 


W ITHI
 the chamber, far a way 
From the glad feast, sits love in dread 
Lest guests disturb, in wanton play, 
The silence of the bridal bed. 
His torch's pale flame serves to gild 
The scene with n1ystic sacred glow, 
The room \vith incense-clouds is filled, 
That he nlay perfect rapture know. 


How beats thy heart, when thou dost hear 
The chirnes that warn thy guests to fly ? 
How glow'st thou for those lips so dear, 
That soon are n1ute, and. nought deny! 
With her into the holy place 
Thou hast'nest then to perfect all; 
The fire the warder's hands embrace, 
Grows, like a night-light, din1 and small. 


How heaves the bosom, and how burns 
Her face at every fervent kiss! 
Her coldness now to trembling turns, 
Thy daring now a duty is. 
Love helps thee to undress her fast, 
But thou art twice as fast as he; 
And then he shuts both eyes at last 
With sly and roguish nloùest
:. 


33 



34 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


MISCHIEVOUS JOY. 


As a butterfly renewed, 
When in life I breathed my last, 
To the spots my flight I wing, 
Scenes of heavenly rapture past, 
Over meadows to the spring, 
Round the hill, and through the wood. 
Soon a tender pair I spy, 
And I look down from my seat 
On the beauteous luaiden's head- 
Wheu embodied there I n1eet 
All I lost as soon as dead, 
Happy as before alll I. 
Him she clasps ,vith silent smile, 
And his mouth the hour improves, 
Sent by kindly deities; 
:First froln breast to mouth it roves, 
Then from n10uth to hands it flies; 
And I round hÜn sport the while. 


And she sees Ille hov'ring near; 
Trembling at her lover's rapture, 
Up she springs - I fly a\vay. 
(( Dearest! let's the insect capture! 
Come! I long to make my prey 
Yonder pretty little dear!" 


NOVEMBER SONG. 


To the great archer - not to him 
To meet whom flies the sun, 
And who is wont his features dim 
With clouds to overrun- 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


35 


But to the boy be vowed these rhymes, 
Who 'mongst the roses plays, 
Who hears us, and at proper tiInes 
To pierce fair hearts essays. 


Through him the gloomy winter night, 
Of yore so cold anù drear, 
Brings many a loved friend to our sight, 
And nlany a \VOn1an dear. 


Hencefor\vard shall his iInage fair 
Stand in yon starry skies, 
And, ever mild and gracious there, 
Alternate set and rise. 


TO THE CHOSEN OYE. 


[This sweet song is doubtless one of those addressed to Frederica.] 


HAND in hand, and lip to lip! 
Oh, be faithful, ll1airlen dear! 
Fare thee well! thy lover's ship 
Past full nlany a rock must steer; 
But should he the haven see, 
When the storm has ceased to break, 
And be happy, .reft of thee,- 
l\1ay the gods fierce vengeance take! 


Boldly dared is well-nigh won! 
Half my task is solved aright; 
Every star's to me a sun, 
Only cowards deem it night. 
Stood I idly by thy side, 
Sorrow still would sadden me; 
But when seas our path divide, 
Gladly toil I) - toil for thee! 



3 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


N ow the valley I perceive, 
Where together we will go, 
And the streamlet watch each eve, 
Gliding peacefully below. 
Oh, the poplars on yon spot! 
Oh, the beech-trees in yon grove! 
And behind we'll build a cot, 
Where to taste the joys of love! 


FIRST LOSS. 


All! who'll ever those days restore, 
Those bright days of early love! 
Who'll one hour again concede, 
Of that time so fondly cherished! 
Silently In y wounds I feed, 
And with wailing evernlore 
Sorrow o'er each joy now perished. 
Ah! who'll e'er the days restore 
Of that time so fondly cherished! 


APPARENT DEATH. 


'VEEP, lTIaiden, weep here o'er the tonlb of Love; 
lIe died of nothing - hy nlel'e chance was slain. 
But is he really dead? - oh, tlUlt I cannot prove: 
A nothing, a 11lere chance, oft gives him life again. 


AFTER - SENSATIONS. 


'VUEN the vine again is blo"ing, 
Then the wine nloves in the cask; 
'Vhen the rose again is glo\ving, 
Wherefore should I feel o])presseù? 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Down lilY cheeks run tears all-burning, 
If I do, or leave my task; 
I but feel a speechless yearning, 
That pervades IllY inmost breast, 


But at length I see the reason, 
When the question I would ask: 
'Twas in such a beauteous season, 
Doris glo\ved to make me blest! 


PRESENCE. 


ALL things give token of thee! 
As soon as the bright sun is shining, 
Thou too wilt follow, I trust. 


When in the garden thou walkest, 
Thou then art the rose of all roses, 
Lily of lilies as well. 


When thou dost move in the dance, 
Then each constellation nloves also; 
With thee and round thee they lllove. 


Night! oh, what bliss were the night! 
For then thou o'ershadow'st the lustre, 
Dazzling and fair, of the moon. 


Dazzling and beauteous art thou, 
And flowers, and moon, and the planets 
Hornage pay, Sun, but to thee. 


Sun! to 'lne also be thou 
Creator of days bright and glorious; 
Life and Eternity this! 


37 



3 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SEP ARATION. 


I THINK of thee whene'er the sun is glowing 
Upon the lake; 
Of thee, when in the crystal fountain flowing 
The moonbeaIlls shake. 


I see thee when the \vanton wind is busy, 
And dust-,clouds rise; 
In the deep night, \vhen o'er the bridge so dizzy 
The \vanderer hies. 


I hear thee when the waves, with hollow roaring, 
Gush forth their fill; 
Often along the heath I go exploring, 
When all is still. 


I am with thee! Though far thou art and darkling, 
Yet art thou near. 
The sun goes down, the stars ,viII soon Le sparkling- 
Oh, wert thou here. 


TO THE DISTANT ONE. 


AND have I lost thee evernlore, 
Hast thou, oh, fair one, froll1 me flown? 
Still in mine ear sounds, as of yore, 
Thine every word, thine every tone. 


As when at morn the \vanderer's eye 
Attempt,s to pierce the air in vain, 
When, hidden in the azure sky, 
The lark high o'er him chants his strain: 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


39 


So do I cast my troubled gaze 
Through bush, through forest, o'er the lea; 
Thou art invoked by all my lays; 
Oh, come then, loved one, back to me ! 


BY THE RIVER. 


FLOW on, ye lays so loved, so fair, 
On to Oblivion's ocean flow! 
May no rapt boy recall you e'er, 
No maiden in her beauty's glow! 


My love alone was then your theme, 
But no\v she scorns nlY passion true. 
Ye \vere but \vritten in the stream; 
As it flows on, then flow ye too! 


THE EXCHANGE. 


THE stones in the streanllet I make my bright pillow, 
And open my arms to the s\vift-rolling billow, 
That lovingly hastens to fall on my breast. 
Then fickleness soon bids it on\vards be flowing; 
A second dra \VS nigh, its caresses bestowing,- 
And so by a twofold enjoyment rIn blest. 


And yet thou art trailing in sorrow and sadness 
The moments that life, as it flies, gave for gladness, 
Because by thy love thou'rt remembered no more! 
Oh, call back to mind former days and their blisses ! 
The lips of the second \vill give as sweet kisses 
As any the lips of the first gave before! 



4 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


:FAREWELL. 


To break one's word is pleasure-fraught t 
To do one's duty gives a smart; 
While nlan, alas! will pron1Îse nought, 
That is repugnant to his heart. 


Using some magic strain of yore, 
Thou lurest him, when scarcely calnl, 
On to sweet folly's fragile bark once more, 
Renewing, doubling chance of harm. 


Why seek to hide thyself from me 1 
Fly not my sight - be open then 1 
Known late or early it must be, 
And here thou hast thy word again. 


My duty is fulfilled to-day, 
No longer will I guard thee from surprise; 
But, oh, forgive the friend who from thee turns away, 
And to himself for refuge flies! 


WELCOl\fE AND DEPARTURE. 


[Another of the love-songs addressed to Frederica.] 


To horse! - a\vay, o'er hill and steep! 
Into the saddle blithe I sprung; 
The eve was cradling earth to sleep, 
And night upon the lTIountain hung. 
With robes of mist around him set, 
The oak like some huge giant stood, 
While with its hundred eyes of jet, 
Peered darkness from the tangled wood. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


4 1 


Amidst a Lank of clouds, the 1I1UOn 
A sad and troubled gliullner shed; 
The ,vind its chilly ,vings unclosed, 
And \vhistled wildly round IllY head. 
Night franied a thousand phantolus dire, 
Yet did I never droop nor start; 
Within nlY veins what living fire! 
What quenchless glow \vithin IllY heart! 


We met; and frOIn thy glance a tide 
Of stifling joy flowed in to Il1e: 
l\Iy heart \vas wholly by thy side, 
My every breath was breathed for thee. 
A blush was there, as if thy cheek 
The gentlest hues of spring had caught, 
And smiles so kind for ITIe ! - Great powers! 
I hoped, yet I deserved thenl not! 


But nlorning caIne to end my bliss; 
A long, a sad farewell ,ve took; 
What joy - what rapture in thy kiss, 
What depth of anguish in thy look! 
I left thee, sweet! but after nle, 
Thine eyes through tears looked from above; 
Yet to be loved - what ecstasy! 
What ecstasy, ye gods, to love! 


NEW LOVE, NEW LIFE. 


[Written at the time of Goethe's connection with Lili.] 


HEART! my heart! ,what llieans this feeling? 
What oppresseth thee so sore? 
What strange life is o'er me stealing! 
I acknowledge thee no lllore, 



4 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Fled is all that gave thee gladness, 
Fled the cause of all thy sadness, 
Fled thy peace, thine industry- 
Ah, why suffer it to be ? 
Say, do beauty's graces youthful, 
Does this fonn so fair and bright, 
Does this gaze, so kind, so truthful, 
Chain thee with unceasing rnight 1 
Would I tear me frorn her Loldly, 
Courage take, and fly her coldly, 
Back to her I'n1 forth with led 
By the path I seek to tread. 


By a thread I ne'er can sever, 
:For 'tis 'twined with lnagic skin, 
Doth the cruel nlaid for ever 
Hold me fast against Iny \vill. 
While those lnagic channs confine lne, 
To her will I must resign me. 
Ah, the change in truth is great! 
Love! kind love! release Dle straight J 


TO BELINDA. 


[This song was also written for Lili. Goethe mentions, at the 
end of his Autobiography, that he overheard her singing it one 
evening after he had taken bis last farewell of her,] 


WITH resistless po\ver why dost thou press lTIe 
Into scenes so bright? 
Had I not - good youth - so nluch to bless me 
In the lonely night? . 
In my little cham bel' close I found me, 
In the moon's cold. beanls ; 
And there quivering light fell softly round me, 
While I lay in dreams. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And by hours of pure ullu1Ïngled pleasure, 
All my dreams were blest, 
'Vhile I felt her inlage, as a treasure, 
Deep within my breast. 


Is it I, she at the table places, 
'Mid so nlany lights? 
Yes, to meet intolerable faces, 
She her slave invites. 


Ah! the Spring's fresh fields no longer cheer me, 
:Flowers no sweetness. bring 
Angel, where thou art, all s,veets are near me,- 
Love, Nature, and Spring. 


WITH AN El\IBROIDERED RIBBON. 


LITTLE flowerets, 1ittle leaflets, 
Have they woven '\vith fairy hand, 
Playful sunny elves of springtide, 
Lightly called at lny cOlluuand. 


Zephyr, bear it on thy pinions, 
Drop it on IllY darling's dress, 
So she'll pass before the Inirror 
In her double loveliness. 


She, of roses still the fairest, 
Roses shall around her see; 
Give me but one look, my dearest, 
And I ask no more of thee. 


Feel but what this heart is feeling - 
Frankly place thy hand in mine- 
Trust me, love, the tie ,vhich binds us, 
Is no fragile rosy twine. 


43 



44 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SECOND LIFE. 


AFTER life's ùeparting sigh, 
To the spots I loved most dearly, 
In the sunshine and the shadow, 
By the fountain welling clearly, 
Through the wood and o'er the meadow, 
Flit I like a butterfly. 
There a gentle pair I spy. 
Round the nlaiden's tres
es flying, 
Fronl her chaplet I discover 
All that I had lost in dying, 
Still with her and with her lover, 
Who so happy then as I ? 
For she sn1Íles with laughing eyes; 
And his lips to her he presses, 
Vows of passion interchanging, 
Stifling her with sweet caresses, 
O'er her budding beauties ranging; 
And around the twain I fly. 
And she sees me fluttering nigh; 
And beneath his ardour trenl bling, 
Starts she up - then off I hover. 
(( Look there, dearest!" Thus dissenl bling, 
Speaks the maiden to her lover- 
(( Come and catch that butterfly!" 


TO MY MISTRESS. 


ALL that's lovely speaks of thee! 
When the glorious sun appeareth, 
'Tis thy harbinger to me : 
Only thus he cheereth. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


In the garden where thou go'st, 
There art thou the rose of roses, 
First of lilies, fragrant; most 
Of the fragrant posies. 


When thou movest in the dance, 
All the stars \vith thee are moving 
And around thee glealn and glance, 
N ever tired of loving. 


Night! - and \vould the night were here! 
Yet the llloon 'would lose her duty; 
Though her sheen be soft and clear, 
Softer is thy beauty! 


Fair, and kind, and gentle one! 
Do not moon, and stars, and flowers 
Pay that homage to their sun, 
That \ve pay to ours ? 


Sun of mine, that art so dear- 
Sun, that art above all sorrow! 
Shine, I pray thee, on 111e here 
Till the eternal IllOrrO\V! 


FLOWER - SALUTE. 


THIS nosegay, - 'twas I dressed it,- 
Greets thee a thousand times! 
Oft stooped I, and caressed it, 
Ah! full a thousand times, 
And 'gainst my bosom pressed it, 
A hundred thousand tiInes ! 


45 



4 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


WITH A GOLDEN NECKLACE. 


ACCEPT, dear maid, this little token, 
A supple chain that fain would lie, 
And keep its tiny links unbroken 
Upon a neck of ivory. 


Pray, then, exalt it to this duty, 
And change its humbleness to pride; 
By day it will adorn your beauty, 
By night 'tis quickly laid aside. 


But if another hand should proffer 
A chain of weightier, closer kind, 
Think twice ere you accept the offer; 
F or there are chains will not unbind. 


MAY SONG. 


Ho,v gloriously gleameth 
All nature to me! 
How bright the sun beameth, 
How fresh is the lea! 


White blossoms are hursting 
The thickets among, 
And all the gay greenwood 
Is ringing with song! 


There's radiance and rapture 
That nought can destroy, 
o earth, in thy sunshine, 
o heart, in thy joy! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


47 


o love! thou enchanter, 
So golden and bright- 
Like the red clouds of Inorning 
That rest on yon height;- 


It is thou that art clothing 
The fields and the bowers, 
And everywhere breathing 
The incense of flo,vers ! 


o maiden! dear nlaiden ! 
How well I love thee- 
Thine eye, how it kindles 
In answer to n1e! 


Oh ! well the lark loveth 
Its song 'midst the blue; 
Oh, gladly the flowerets 
Expand to the dew. 


And so do I love thee; 
F or all that is best, 
I dra,v from thy beauty 
To gladden my breast! 


And all my heart's music 
I s thrilling for thee ! 
Be evermore blest, love, 
And loving to me ! 



4 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


ON THE LAKE. 


[This little poem was composed during a tour in Switzerland in 
] 775. Several others in this series belong to the same period, be- 
ing that when Goethe's passion for Anna Elizabeth Schönemaun, 
the Lili of his poems, was at its height.] 


AND here I drink new blood, fresh food 
Fronl \vorld so free, so blest; 
How s'weet is nature anù how good 
Who holds l11e to her breast! 


The waves are cradling up our boat, 
The oars are beating time; 
l\lountains \ve rneet that Seell1 afloat 
In heav'nly clouds sublinle. 


'\Vhy, 111)" eye, art do\vnward turning? 
Golden dreams, are ye returning? 
Dreanl, though gold, I thee repel; 
Love and life here also d \vell. 


'N eath the waves are sinkin
- 
Stars fronl heaven sparkling; 
Soft white l11ists are drinking, 
Distance towering, darkling, 


Morning \vind is fanning 
Trees by the bay that root, 
And its Ï1nage scanning 
Is the ripening fruit. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


49 


FROl\1 THE l\fOUNTAIN. 


[Written just after the preceding one, on a mountain overlooking 
the Lake of Zurich.] 


DEAREST Lili, if I did not love thee, 
Ho,v transporting were a scene like this! 
Yet, Iny Lili, if I did not love thee, 
What were any bliss? 


l\IAY SONG, 


BET'VEEN ,vheat-field and corn, 
Between hedgerow and thorn, 
Between pasture and tree, 
Where is nlY sweetheart? 
Tell it me ! 


S,veetheart caûgbt I 
Not at home; 
She's then, thought I, 
Gone to roam. 
Fair and loving 
Blooms sweet l\lay, 
Sweetheart's roving, 
Free and gay. 


By the rock near the wave, 
Where her first kiss she gave, 
On the greensward, to me,- 
SOlllething T see! 
Is it she 1 


WITH a lnaster all smoothly goes 
Who what he bids, hiInself well knows. 



I 


so 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


, 


EARLY SPRING. 


COME ye so early, 
Days of delight? 
Making the hillside 
Blithesome and bright? 



ferrily, merrily, 
Little brooks rush, 

 Down by the meadow, 
Under the bush. 


Welkin and hill top, 
Azure and cool; 
Fishes are sporting 
In streanllet and pool. 


Birds of gay feather 
Flit through the grove, 
Singing together 
Ditties of love. 


Busily coming 
From moss-covered bowers, 
Brown bees are hUlInning, 
Questing for flowers. 


Lightsome emotion, 
Life everywhere; 
Faint wafts of fragrance 
Scenting the air. 


Now comes there sounding 
A sough of the breeze, 
Shakes through th e thicket, 
Sinks in the trees. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Sinks, but returning, 
It ruffles lilY hair; 
Aid me this rapture, 
J\tr uses, to bear 1 


Know ye the passion 
That stirs in lIle here? 
Yester e'en at gloaming 
Was I with my dear! 


IN SUMl\IER. 


How plain and height 
With dewdrops are bright! 
Ho\v pearls have crowned 
The plants all around 1 
Ho\v sighs the breeze 
Through thicket and trees 1 
Ho\v loudly in the sun's clear rays 
The s\veet birds carol forth their lays! 


But, ah 1 above, 
When sa\v I Iny love, 
Within her roonl, 
Slnall, lllantled in gloom, 
Enclosed around, 
Where sunlight was drowned, 
How little then was earth to me, 
With all its beauteous majesty! 


AUTUl\IN FEELINGS. 


FLOURISH greener, as ye clamber, 
o ye leaves, to seek my chanlber, 
Up the trellised vine on high! 
May ye swell, twin-berries tender, 


51 



52 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Juicier far, - and with n10re splendour 
Ripen, and more speedily! 
O'er ye broods the sun at even 
As he sinks to rest, and heaven 
Softly breathes into your ear 
All its fertilising fulness, 
'Vhile the moon's refreshing coolness, 
l\lagic-laden, hovers near; 
And, alas! ye're. watered ever 
By a strealn of tears that rill 
Fronl rnine eyes, - tears ceasing never, 
Tears of love that nought can still! 


RERTLESS LOVE. 


THROUG H rain, through snow, 
Through tempest go ! 
'l\longst stean1Ïng caves, 
O'er misty waves, 
On, on! still on ! 
Peace, rest have flown ! 


Sooner through sadness 
I'd \vish to be slain, 
Than all the gladness 
Of life to sustain; 
All the fond yearning 
That heart feels for heart, 
Only seems burning 
To Inake then1 both smart. 


Ho\v shall I fly ? 
Forestwards hie? 
Vain were all strife! 
Bright cro\vn of life, 
Turbuleut bliss,- 
Love, thou art this! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE SHEPHERD'S LA
fENT. 


UP yonder on the lTIountain, 
I dwelt for days together; 
Looked down into the valley, 
This pleasant SUlnrner weather. 


]'fy sheep go feeding on\vard, 
1\fy dog sits \vatching by ; 
I've wandered to the yalley, 
And yet I know not why. 


The meadow, it is pretty, 
With fio\vers so fair to see; 
I gather thenl, but no one 
Will take the fio\vers from me. 


The good tree gives me shadow, 
And shelter frOlTI the rain: 
But yonder door is silent, 
It will not ope again! 


I see the rain bow bending, 
Above her old abode, 
But she is there no longer; 
They've taken 1l1Y love abroad. 


. 


They took her o'er the lTIountains, 
They took her o'er the sea; 
Move on, n10ve on, lTIY bonny sheep, 
There is no rest for lTIe ! 


53 



54 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


NIGHT SONG, 


"THEN on thy pillow lying, 
Half listen, I implore, 
And at my lute's soft sighing, 
Sleep on ! what wouldst thou more? 


For at my lute's soft sighing 
The stars their blessings pour 
On feelings never-dying; 
Sleep on! what wouldst thou more? 


Those feelings never-dying 
J\ly spirit aid to soar 
FrOlTI earthly conflicts trying; 
Sleep on ! what ,vouldst thou more? 


From earthly conflicts trying 
Thou driv'st me to this shore; 
Through thee I'ln hither flying,- 
Sleep on! what wouldst thou lTIOre? 


Through thee I'm hither flying, 
Thou wilt not list before 
In slurnbers thou art lying: 
Sleep on! what wouldst thou more? 


. 


COMFORT IN TEARS. 


How is it that thou art so sad 
When others are so gay? 
Thou hast been ,veeping - nay, thou hast! 
Thine eyes the truth betray. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


" And if I may not choose but weep, 
Is not my grief mine own ? 
N a heart was heavier yet for tears- 
o h, leave me, friend, alone!" 


Come join this once the merry band, 
They call aloud for thee, 
And mourn no more for what is lost, 
But let the past go free. 


" Oh, little kno\v ye in your mirth, 
What wrings IllY heart so deep! 
I Ïlave not lost the idol yet, 
For which I sigh and weep." 


Then rouse thee and take heart I thy blood 
Is young and full of fire; 
Youth shoulá have hope and might to win, 
And wear its best desire. 


" Oh, never may I hope to gain 
'Vhat dwells from me so far; 
It stands as high, it looks as bright, 
As yonder burning star." 


Why, who would seek to woo the stars 
Down from their glorious sphere? 
Enough it is to worship theIn, 
When nights are calm and clear. 


"Oh, I look up and worship too - 
J\fy star it shines by day- 
Then let me ,veep the Ii velong night 
The whilst it is away.". 


S5 



56 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


LONGING. 


WHAT stirs in my heart so 1 
What lures me from home? 
What forces me out 'wards, 
And on wards to roam? 
Far up on the mountains 
Lie cloudlets like snow; 
Oh, ,vere I but yonder, 
'Tis there I DIUst go! 
Now by come the ravens 
So solellln and black; 
I Iningle an10ng then), 
Anù follow their track: 
By rock and by turret 
'Ve silently glide; 
Ah, there is the bo,ver, ,,,here 
l\ly lady doth bid
! 


She walks in the greenwood, 
That beautifull\lay ; 
Like a bird singing clear! y, 
I drop on the spray. 
She lists, and she lingers, 
And softly says she- 
" How sweetly it singeth, 
It singeth for me ! " 
The sunset is gilding 
The peaks of the hill, 
The day is declining, 
Yet tarries she still : 
She follows the brooklet 
Through meadow and glade, 
Till dark is the pathway, 
And lost in the shade. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then, then I conle do'wn, as 
A swift-shooting star; 
" What light glitters yonder, 
So near yet RO far?)) 
Ere yet the anlazernent 
Hath passed frolll thee, s,veet, 
1\ly quest it is enùed, 
I lie at thy feet! 


THE CASTLE OK THE 
IOUNTAIN. 


THERE stands 'an ancient castle 
On yoneler 1110untain height, 
'Vbere, fenced with door anù portal, 
Once tarried steed and knight. 


But gone are door and portal, 
And all is hushed and Rtill; 
O'er ruined ,vall and rafter 
I clamber as I .will. 


A cellar ,vith nlany a vintage 
Once lay in yonder nook; 
Where no\v are the cellarer's flagons 
And ,vhere is his jovial look ? 


No more he sets the beakers 
For the guests at the wassail feast; 
N or fills a flask fronl the oldest cask 
For the duties of the priest. 


No nlore he gives on the staircase 
The stoup to the thirsty squires, 
And a hurried thanks- for the hurried gift 
Receives, nor more requires. 


. 


57 



. 


58 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


For burned are roof and rafter, 
And they hang begrinled and black; 
And stair, and hall, and chapel, 
Are turned to dust and wrack. 


Yet, as with song and cittern, 
One day when the sun was bright, 
I saw Iny love ascending 
The slopes of yon rocky height; 


From the hush and desolation 
Sweet fancies did unfold, 
And it seemed as they had come back again, 
The jovial days of old. 


As if the stateliest chalnbers 
For noble guests were spread, 
And out from the prime of that glorious time 
A youth a maiden led. 


And, standing in the chapel, 
The good old priest did say, 
"Will ye wed with one another?" 
And we smiled and answered " Yea I " 


We sung, and our hearts they bounded 
To the thrilling lays ,ve sung, 
And every note ,vas doubled 
By the echo's catching tongue. 


And when, as eve descended, 
The hush grew deep and still, 
And the setting sun looked upward 
On that great castled hill ; 


Then far and wide, like lord and bride, 
In the radiant light ,ve shone- 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


It 
ank; and again the ruins 
Stood desolate and lone! 


TO 1\IIGNON. 


OVER vale and torrent far 
Rolls along the sun's bright car. 
Ah ! he \vakens in his course 
Mine, as thy deep-seated SlTIart 
In the heart, 
Ev'ry 1110rning with ne\v force. 
, 


Scarce avails night aught to me; 
E'en the visions that I see 
COine but in a Dlournful guise; 
And I feel this silent smart 
In my heart 
With creative power arise. 


During many a beauteous year 
I have seen ships 'neath me steer, 
As they seek the shelt'ring bay; 
But, alas, each lasting smart 
In my heart 
Floats not with the strealTI away. 


I must wear a gala dress, 
Long stored up within my press, 
For to-day to feasts is given; 
None know with what bitter smart 
Is lllY beart 
Fearfully and madly riven. 


Secretly I weep each tear, 
Yet can cheerful e'en appear, 


59 



60 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


'Vith a face of healthy red; 
For if deadly \vere this smart 
In my heart, 
Ah, I then had long been dead! 


SPIRIT GREETING. 


UPON a tower antique and high 
Stood ghost of hero brave, 
Who, as the ship \vent sailing by, 
This " God -speed " to her gave. 


" See! these my sine\ys stark were once, 
This heart beat fast and wild, 
Of knightly marrow full these bones, 
Brinlful this goblet filled. 


"Half of ill y life in storm was passed, 
Half wasted was in ease, 
Speed, human cargo, far and fast, 
On, on, before the breeze!" 


TO A GOLDEN HEART HE 'VAS WEARING 
ON HIS NECK. 


[Addressed, during the Swiss tour already mentioned, to a pres- 
ent Lili had given him during the time of their happy connection, 
which was then about to be terminated for ever.] 


THOU, of joy that died a\vay, the token 
Which as yet I on my neck anl \vearing, 
Longer hold'st us t\vain, thou 111elltal tie that's broken? 
Art thou the length of love's short days repairing? 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


61 


Flee I, Lili, from thee! Must still, tied to thy fetter, 
Like unto a debtor, 
Roam in strange lands, through vales and forests 
darting ! 
Ah! not so soon could this IUY heart from 
My Lili's heart be parting. 


Like a bird that erst did break his string, 
And to the wood returns, 
He drags of his prison the disgrace, 
Still sonle bit of the string on his trace; 
No longer tbe old bird, once born with freedom's wing; 
Has been a slave where'er he turns. 


WANDERER'S NIGHT - SONG, 


THOU that frolll the heavens art, 
Every pain and sorro\v stillest, 
And the doubly \vretched heart 
Doubly with refreshnlent fillest, 
I am weary) with contending! 
Why tbis rapture and unrest? 
Peace descending, 
Come, ah, COlne into my breast! 


O'er all the hilltops 
Is quiet now, 
In all the tree-tops 
Hearest thou 
Hardly a breath; 
The birds are asleep in the trees: 
Wait; soon like these 
Thou, too, shalt rest. 



62 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


ILM, THE RIVER, TO THE MOON. 


FILLEST hill and vale again, 
Still \vith softening light! 
Loosest from the world's cold chain 
All my soul to-night! 


Spreadest round Dle far and nigh, 
Soothingly, thy sn1Ïle; 
FroIn thee, as frolll friendship's eye, 
Sorrow shrinks the while. 


Every echo thrills my heart,- 
Glad and glooIny Inood, 
Joy and sorro\v Loth have part 
In nlY solitude. 


River, river, glide along! 
I aln sad, alas! 
Fleeting things are love and song,- 
Even so they pass. 


I have had and I have lost 
What I long for yet; 
Ah! why will we, to our cost, 
SiInple joys forget? 


River, river, glide along, 
Without stop or stay! 
Murmur, -whisper to my song 
In nlelodious play. 


Whether on a winter's night 
Rise thy swelling floods, 
Or in spring thou hast delight 
Watering the young buds. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Happy he who, hating none, 
Leaves the \vorld's dull noise, 
And, with trusty friends alone, 
Quietly enjoys 


What, for ever unexpressed, 
Hid from common sight, 
Through the mazes of the breast 
Softly steals by night! 


HUNTS:\IAN'S EVENING SONG. 


IN silence sad, from heath to hill 
With rifle slung I glide. 
But thy dear shape, it haunts me still, 
It hovers by n1Y side. 


Across the brook, and past the mill, 
I watch thee gaily fleet; 
Ah, does one shape, that ne'er is still, 
E'er cross thy fancy, sweet? 


'Tis his, 'who, tortured by unrest, 
Roan1s ever to and fro, 
N O\V ranging east, now ranging west, 
Since forced from thee to go. 


And yet at tÏ1lles the thought of thee, 
Ijke moonlight in a dream, 
Doth bring, I know not ho\v, to me 
Content and peace supreme. 


63 



64 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


EVENING. 


['Vritten at night on the Kickelhahn, a hill in the forest of 
Ilmenau, on the walls of a little hermitage where Goethe com- 
posed the last act of his "Iphigenia."] 


PEACE breathes along the shade 
Of every hill, 
The tree-tops of the glade 
Are hushed and still; 
All woodland nlurmurs cease, 
The birds to rest váthin the brake are gone. 
Be patient, weary heart - anon, 
Thou, too, shalt be at peace! 


TO LIN A. 


LINA, rival of the linnet, 
When these lays shall reach thy hand, 
Please transfer then} to the spinnet, 
'Vhere thy friend was wout to stand. 


Set the diapason ringing, 
Ponder not the ,yords you see, 
Give them utterance by thy singing, 
Then each leaf belongs to thee. 


With the life of lllusic fill them; 
Cold the ,vritten verses seem, 
That, ,vould Lina deign to trill them, 
l\fight be trancing as a drealll. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


EVER AND EVERYWHERE, 


FAR explore the mountain hollow, 
High in air the clouds then follow! 
To each brook anù vale the l\luse 
Thousand times her call renews. 


Soon as flow'ret blooms in spring, 
It wakens Inany a strain; 
Anù \v hen Tillie spreads his fleeting wing 
The seasons COllie again. 


DELIGHT OF SORROW. 


DRY not up, dry not up, 
Tears shed by love everlasting! 
Ah! to the eye that half only dried is, 
Ho\v dreary, ho\v dead the \vorld does appear! 
Dry not up, dry not up, 
Tears my love unhappy is shedding! 


PROXI
iITY. 


I KNOW not wherefore, dearest love, 
Thou often art so strange and coy! 
When '1110ngst man's busy haunts we move, 
Thy coldness puts to flight n1Y joy. 
But soon as night anù Rilence round us reign, 
I know t
ee by thy kisses sweet again! 


6S 



66 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


A NIGHT THOUGHT. 


I DO not envy you, ye joy less stars, 
Though fair ye be, and glorious to the sight- 
The seaman's hope anÜdst the 'wheln1iug storm, 
When help from God or lnan there cometh none. 
No! for ye love not, nor have ever loved! 
Through the broad fields of heaven, the eternal hours 
Lead on your circling spheres unceasingly. 
Ho\v vast a journey have ye travelled o'er, 
Since I, upon the boson1 of Iny love, 
Forgot alllnemory of night or you! 


PETITION. 


OH, thou sweet maiden fair, 
Thou with the raven hair, 
Why to the \vindow go ? 
"'Thile gazing do\vn below, 
Art standing vainly there? 
Oh, if thou stood'st for rne, 
And lett'st the latch but fly, 
How happy should I be! 
How soon \vould I leap high 1 


TO HIS COY ONE. 


SEEST thou yon smiling orange? 
Upon the tree still hangs it ; 
Already l\farch hath vanished, 
And new-born flo\vers are shQoting. 
I dra\v nigh to the tree then, 
And there I say: 0 orangè, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thou ripe and juicy orange, 
Thou s\veet and 1 uscious orange, 
I shake the tree, I shake it, 
Oh, fall into my lap. 


ROLLICKING HANS. 


HALLO there! A glass! 
Ha! the dra
ght's truly sweet! 
If for drink go on my shoes, 
I shall still have IllY feet. 


A maiden and wine, 
With sweet music and song,- 
I would they \vere n1Ïne, 
All life's journey along! 


If I depart frolH this sad sphere, 
And leave a win behind me here, 
A suit at law \vill be preferred, 
But as for thanks, - the deuce a word I 
So ere I die, I squander all, 
And that's a proper win I call. 


HIS COMRADE. 
Rallo there 1 A glass! 
Ha! the draught's truly sweet! 
If thou keepest thy shoes, 
Thou wilt then spare thy feet. 


A maiden and wine, 
With sweet music and 80ng, 
On paynlent, are thine, 
All life's journey along! 


67 



68 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


TO LIDA. 


THE only one whom, Lida, thou canst love, I 
Thou claim'st, and rightly claim'st, for only thee; 
He, too, is \vholly thine; since doomed to rove 
Far from thee, in life's turnloils nought I see 
Save a thin veil, through 'which thy fonn I view, 
As though in clouds; \vith kindly sn1Ïle and true, 
It cheers me, like the stars eterne that glean1 
Across the northern lights' far-flick'ring healn. 


RECIPROCAL. 



fy mistress, ,,,,here sits she? 
What is it that charnls? 
The absent she's rocking, 
Held fast in her arms. 


In pretty cage prisoned 
She holds a bird still ; 
Yet lets him fly from her, 
\Vhenever he ,villa 


He pecks at her finger, 
And pecks at her lips, 
And hovers and flutters, 
And round her he skips. 


Then hasten thou homeward, 
In fashion to be ; 
If thou hast the InaideD, 
She also hath thee. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE FREEl
OOTER. 


No door has n1Y house, 
N a house has IllY door; 
And in and out ever 
I carry my store. 


N a grate has my kitchen, 
N a kitchen lllY grate; 
Yet roasts it a nù boils it 
Both early and late. 


1\1y beù ha
 llu trestles, 
1\1y trestles no bed; 
Yet lllerrier mOlnents 
No mortal e'er led. 


1\ly cellar is lofty, 
My barn is full deep, 
Fronl top to the bottonl,- 
There lie I and sleep. 


And soon as I waken, 
All nloves on its race; 
My place has no fixture, 
1\1y fixture no place, 


JOY AND SORROW. 


As fisher-boy I fared 
To the black rock in the sea, 
And, while false gifts I prepared, 
Listened anù sang In errily , 


69 



7 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Down descended the decoy, 
Soon a fish attacked the bait; 
One exulting shout of joy, - 
And the fish was captured straight. 


Ah! on shore, and to the wood, 
Past the cliffs, o'er stock and stone, 
One foot's traces I pursued, 
And the lllaiden \vas alone. 
Lips were silent, eyes downcast 
As a clasp-knife snaps the bait, 
With her snare she seized lIle fast, 
And the boy \vas captured straight, 


Heaven kno\vs \vha's the happy s\vain 
That she l'alubles with anew! 
I lllust dare the sea again, 
Spite of \vind and weather, too. 
When the great and little fish 
Wail and flounder in IllY net, 
Straight returns my eager wish 
In her arms to revel yet! 


I\1ARCH. 


THE snowflakes fan in showers, 
The time is absent still, 
'\Vhen all Spring's beauteous flowers, 
When all Spring's beauteous flowers 
Our hearts with joy shall fill. 


With lustre false and fleeting 
The sun's bright rays are thrown; 
The swallo\v's self is cheating, 
The swallow's self is cheating; 
And why? He comes alone! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Can I e'er feel delighted 
Alone, though 8pring is near? 
Yet when we are united, 
Yet \vhen we are united, 
The summer 'will be here, 


APRIL. 


TELL me, eyes, what 'tis ye're seeking; 
For ye're saying something sweet, 
Fit the ravished ear to greet, 
Eloquently, softly speaking. 


Yet I see now \vhy ye're roving; 
For behind those eyes so bright, 
To itself abandoned quite, 
Lies a bosom, truthful, loving,- 


One that it must fill with pleasure 
'Mongst, so n1any, dull and blind, 
One true look at length to find, 
That its worth can rightly treasure. 


Whilst I'm lost in studying ever 
To explain these ciphers duly,- 
To unravel my books truly 
In return be your endeavour 1 


MAY, 


LIGHT and silv'ry cloudlets hover 
In the air, as yet scarce warm; 
Mild, with glimmer soft tinged over, 
Peeps the sun through fragrant bahn. 


7 1 



7 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Gently rolls and heaves the ocean 
As its waves the bank o'erflow, 
And with ever restless Illotiun 
Moves the verdure to and fro, 
l\lirrored brightly far belo'w. 


What is now the foliage moving? 
Air is still, and hush' d the breéze, 
Sultriness, this fulness loving, 
Through the thicket, from the trees. 
N ow the eye at once gleams brightly, 
See! the infant band with n1Ïrth 
Moves and dances nirnbly, lightly, 
As the morning gave it birth, 
Flutt'ring two and two o'er earth, 


JUNE. 


SHE behind yon rl10untain lives, 
Who my love's sweet guerdon gives. 
Tell me, mount, how this can be, 
Very glass thou seen}'st to me ! 
And I seem to be close by, 
For I see her drawing nigh; 
Now, because 1'111 absent, sad, 
Now, because she sees me, glad, 


Soon between us rise to sight 
Valleys cool, ,vith bushes light, 
Streams and meadows; next appear 
l\lills and wheels, the surest token 
That a level spot is near, 
Plains far-stretching and unbro
en. 
And so onwards, onwards roam, 
To my garden and my home! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


But how comes it then to pass? 
All this gives no joy, alas!- 
I was ravished by her sight, 
By her eyes so fair and bright, 
By her footstep soft and light. 
How her peerless charms I praised, 
When from head to foot I gazed! 
I am here, she's far away,- 
I am gone, with her to stay. 


If on rugged hills she wander, 
If she baste the vale along, 
Pinions seem to flutter yonder, 
And the air is filled with song; 
With the glow of youth still playing 
Joyous vigour in each limb, 
One in silence is delaying, 
She alone 'tis blesses him. 


Love, thou art too fair, I ween! 
}
airer 1 have never seen! 
From the heart full easily 
Blooming flo\vers are culled by thee. 
If I think: " Oh, were it so," 
Bone anù marrow seem to glow! 
If re\varded by her love, 
Can I greater rapture prove? 


And still fairer is the bride, 
When in me she will confide, 
When she speaks and lets me know 
All her tale of joy and woe. 
All her lifetime's history 
N ow is fully known to me. 
Who in child or W01l1an e'er 
Soul and body found so fair? 


73 



74 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


NEXT YEAR'S SPRING. 


THE bed of flowers 
Loosens amain, 
The beauteous sno\vdrops 
Drop o'er the plain. 
The crocus opens 
Its glowing bud, 
Like elneralds others, 
Others, like blood. 
'\Vith saucy gesture 
Primroses flare, 
And roguish violets 
Hidden with care; 
And \v hatsoever 
There stirs and strives, 
The Spring's contented, 
It works and thrives. 


'Mongst an thr blossoms 
That fairest are, 
My sweetheart's sweetness 
Is sweetest far; 
Upon TIle ever 
Her glances light, 
l\ly song they waken 
l\ly \vords make bright. 
An ever upen 
And bloolning mind, 
In sport, unsullied, 
In earnest, kind. 
Though roses anù lilies 
By summer are brought, 
Against my s\veetheart 
Prevails he nought. 


SWISS SONG. 


UP in the mountain 
I ,vas a-sitting, 
With the bird there 
As nl y guest, 
Blithely singing, 
, Blithely springing, 
And building 
His nest. 


In the garden 
I was a-standing, 
And the bee there 
Saw as ,yell, 
. Buzzing, humming, 
Going, coming, 
And building 
His cell. 


O'er the meadow 
I was a -O'oin 0' 
b b' 
And there sa,v the 
Butterflies, 
Sipping, dan cing, 
Flying, glancing, 
And charming 
The eyes. 


And then came my 
Dear Hansel, 
And I showed them 
With glee, 
Sipping, quaffing, 
And he, laughing, 
Sweet kisses 
Gave me. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


75 


SICILIAN SONG. 


YE black and roguish eyes, 
If ye cOlnmand, 
Each house in ruin lies, 
No town can stand. 
And shall my bosom's chain,- 
This plaster wall,- 
To think one nlolnent, deign,- 
Shall it 11 ot fall ? 


AT 
fIDNIGHT HOUR. 


[Goethe relates that a remarkable situation he was in one bright 
moonlight night led to the composition of this sweet song, which 
was "the dearer to him because he could not say whence it came 
and whither it would."] 


AT midnight hour I went, not willingly, 
A little, little boy, yon churchyard past, 
To Father Vicar's house; the stars on high 
On all around their beauteous radiance cast, 
At midnight hour. 


And when, in journeying o'er the path of life, 
My love I followed, as she on\vard moved, 
With stars and northern lights o'erhead in strife, 
Going and coming, perfect bliss I proved 
At midnight hour. 


Until at length the full moon, lustre-fraught, 
Burst thro' the gloom wherein she was enshrined; 
And then the willing, active, rapid thought 
Around tbe past, as round the future twined, 
At midnight hour. 



7 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


TO THE RISING FULL 1\10 ON. 


Dornburg, 25th .August, 1828. 
WILT thou suddenly enshroud thee, 
Who this monlent wert so lligh ? 
Heavy rising nlasses cloud thee, 
Thou art hidden from Inine eye. 


Yet my sadness thou well knowest, 
Glearning s\veetly as a star! 
That 1'111 loved, 'tis tlZ01.t that showest, 
Though lHY loved one Inay be far. 


Upward Blount then! clearer, n1Ìlder, 
l
obed in splendour far Il101'e bright! 
Though IllY heart with grief throbs wilder, 
Fraught with rapture is the night! 


THE BRIDEGROO
1.1 


I SLEPT, - 'twas nÜdnight, - in uiy bosoln woke, 
As though 't\vere day, illY love-o'erflowing heart; 
To 111e it seelued like night, when day first broke; 
What is't to nle, whate'er it 1nay Ï1npart? 


She was a way; the \vorld's unceasing strife 
For her alone I suffered through the heat 
Of sultry day; 011, \vhat refreshing life 
At cooling eve 1-1ny guerdon wa:::; con1plete. 


The sun now set, and wand'ring hand in hand, 
His last and blissful look \ve greeted then ; 
While spake our eyes, as they each other scanned: 
" From the far east, let's trust, he'll come again!" 


1 Not in the English sense of the word, but the German, where 
it has the meaning of betrothed, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


77 


At midnight! - the bright stars, in vision blest, 
Guide to the threshold where she slulnbers calm; 
Oh, be it mine, there too at length to rest,- 
Yet howsoe'er this prove, life's full of charm! 


SUCH, SUCH IS HE vVHO PLEASETH ME. 


FL Y, dearest, fly ! He is not nigh! 
He who found thee one fair morn in Spring 
In the wood where thou thy flight didst wing. 
Fly, dearest, fly! He is not nigh! 
N ever rests the foot of evil spy. 


Hark! flutes' sweet strains and love's refrains 
Reach the loved one, borne there by the wind, 
In the soft heart open doors they find. 
Hark! flutes' s\veet strains and love's refrains, 
Hark! - yet blissful love their echo pains. 
Erect his head, and firm his tread, 
Raven hair around his smooth brow strays, 
On his cheeks a spring eternal plays. 
Erect his head, and firrn his tread, 
And by grace his ev'ry step is led. 


Happy his breast, with pureness blessed, 
And the dark eyes 'neath his eyebrows placed, 
With fun )nany a beauteous line are graced. 
Happy his breast, with pureness blessed, 
Soon as seen, thy love must be confessed. 


His mouth is red - its power I dread, 
On his lips morn's fragrant incense lies, 
Round his lips the cooling zephyr sighs. 
His mouth is red - its po\ver I dread, 
With one glance from him, all sorrow's fled. 


, 



7 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


His blood is true, his heart bold too, 
In his soft arms, strength, protection, dwells, 
And his face with noble pity s\vells. 
His blood is true, his heart bold too, 
Blest the one whom those dear arms may woo! 


GIPSY SONG. 


IN the drizzling mist, with the snow high-piled, 
In the winter night, in the forest wild, 
I heard the wolves with their ravenous howl, 
I heard the screalning note of the owl: 
Wille wau wau wau ! 
Wille \Vo wo wo! 
Wito hu! 


I shot, one day, a cat in the ditch- 
The dear black cat of Anna the witch; 
Upon me, at night, seven were-wolves came down, 
Seven women they were, from out of the town. 
Wille wau wau wau! 
Wille wo wo wo ! 
Wito hu ! 


I knew them all; ay, I knew them straight; 
:First, Anna, then Ursula, Eve, and Kate, 
.And Barbara, Lizzy, and Bet aR well: 
And fonning a ring, they began to yell: 
Wille wau wan wau ! 
Wille wo wo wo! 
Wito hu ! 


Then called I their names with angry threat: 
"What wouldst thou, Anna? What wouldst thou, 
Bet 1 " 



. 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


79 


At hearing my voice, thenlselves they shook, 
And howling and yelling, to flight they took. 
Wille wau wau wau ! 
Wille wo wo wo! 
Wito hu ! 


THE DESTRUCTION OF J\1AGDEBURG. 


[For a fine account of the fearful sack of IVlagdeburg, by Tilly, 
in the year 1631, see Schiller's "History of the Thirty Years' 
War. "] 


OR, Magdeburg, the town! 
Fair maids thy beauty crown, 
Thy charms fair Inaids and matrons crown; 
Oh, l\lagdebu1'g, the town! 


Where all so blooming stands, 
Ad vance fierce Tilly's bands; 
0' e1' gardens and o'er well-tilled lands 
Ad vance fierce Tilly's bands. 


N ow Tilly's at the gate. 
Our homes who'll liberate? 
Go, loved one, hasten to the gate, 
And dare the combat straight! 


There is no need as yet, ' 
However fierce his threat; 
Th y rosy cheeks I'll kiss, sweet pet! 
There is no need as yet. 


My longing makes me pale. 
Oh, what can wealth avail? 
E'en now thy father may be pale, 
Thou makest my courage fail. 



. 


80 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Oh, luother, give me bread! 
Is then my father dead? 
Oh, nlother, one sruall crust of bread! 
Oh! what misfortune dread! 


Thy father, dead lies he, 
The trembling to\VllSmen flee, 
Adown the street the blood runs free; 
Oh, whither shall we flee? 
The churches ruined lie, 
The houses burn on high, 
The roofs they slnoke, the flames out fly, 
Into the street then hie! 
No safety there they lIleet! 
The soldiers till the street, 
With fire and sword the \vreck complete: 
No safety there they lneet ! 
Do\vn falls the houses' line, 
Where now is thine or n1Ïne ? 
That bundle yonder is not thine, 
Thou fiying lnaiden lnine! 
The WOlnen son'o\v sore, 
The rnaidens far, far more. 
The living are no virgins n10re. 
Thus Tilly's troops luake war! 


FINNISH SONG. 


I}4' the loved one, the well-known one, 
Should return as he departed, 
On his lips \vauld ring Iny kisses, 
Though the wolf's Llood lnight have ùyed them; 
And a hearty grasp 1'd give hitH, 
Though his finger-ends were serpents. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Wind! Oh, if thou hadst but reason, 
Word for \vord in turns thou'dst carry, 
E'en though SOlne perchance n1Ïght perish 
'Tween two lovers so far distant. 


All choice l11orse1s I'd dispense \vith, 
Table-flesh of priests neglect, too,' 
Sooner than renounce nlY lover, 
WhOlll, in sununer having vanquished, 
I in winter tamed still longer. 


DEPRESSION. 


ROSES, ah, how fair ye be! 
Ye are fading, dying! 
Ye should with my lady be, 
On her bosom lying; 
All your bloom is lost on me, 
Here despairing, sighing. 


Oh, the golden dreams I nursed, 
Ere I knew thy scorning, 
When I poured illY passion first, 
And at break of morning, 
Plucked the rosebuds ere they burst 
For thy breast's adorning! 


Every fruit and fio'weret rare, 
To thy feet I bore it, 
Fondly knelt, to see thee there 
Bending fondlyo'er it, 
Gazing on thy face so fair, 
To revere, adore it. 


81 



82 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Roses, ah I how fair re be! 
Ye are fading, dying I 
Ye should with my lady be, 
On her bosom lying; 
All your bloom is lost on me, 
Here despairing, sighing. 


SORROW WITHOUT CONSOLATION. 


OR, ,vherefore shouldst thou try 
The tears of love to dry? 
Nay, let them flow! 
For didst thou only know, 
How barren and ho\v dead 
Seems everything belo\v, 
To those who have not tears enough to shed, 
Thou'dst rather bid theln weep, and seek their com- 
fort so. 


THE PARTING. 


LET n1ine eyes the farewelllTIake thee 
Which my lips refuse to speak; 
Scorn me not, if to forsake thee 
Makes my very manhood weak. 


Joyless in our joy's ec1ipse, love, 
Are love's tokens, else divine, 
Cold the kisses of thy lips, love, 
Damp the hand that's locked in mine. 


Once thy lip, to touch it only, 
To my soul has sent a thrill, 
Sweeter than the violet lonely, 
Plucked in 1\Iarch-tinle by the rill. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


83 


Garlands never more I'll fashion, 
Roses twine no nlore for thee; 
Spring is here, but, ah, nlY passion, 
Autulnn dark has come for me! 


ON THE NEW YEAR. 


[Composed for a merry party that used to meet, in 1802, at 
Goethe's house.] 


FATE. no\v allo\vs US, 
'T\vixt the departing 
And the upstarting, 
Happy to be; 
And at the call of 
l\fen10ry cherished, 
Future and perished 
Moments we see. 


Seasons of anguish,- 
Ah, they BlUst ever 
Truth frOill woe sever, 
Love and joy part; 
Days still 1110re worthy 
Soon will unite us, 

"'airer songs light ufì, 
Strength'ning the heart. 


We, thus united, 
Think of, with gladness, 
Rapture and sadness, 
Sorrow now flies. 
Oh, how mysterious 
Fortune's direction! 
Old the connection, 
. New-born the prize! 



84 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thank, for this, Fortune, 
Wavering blindly! 
Thank all that kindly 
Fate nlay bestow I 
Revel in change's 
Inl pulses clearer, 
Love far sincerer, 
More heartfelt glow. 


Over the old one, 
Wrinkles collected, 
Sad and dejected, 
Others lllay view; 
But, on us gently 
Shineth a true one, 
And to the new one 
We, too, arê new. 


As a fond couple 
'Midst the dance veering, 
:First disappearing, 
Then reappear, 
So let affliction 
Guide thro' life's mazy 
Pathways so hazy 
Into the year. 


ANNIVERSARY SONG. 


[This little song describes the different members of the party 
just spoken of.] 


WHY pacest thou, my neighbour fair, 
The garden all alone? 
If house and land thou seek'st to guard, 
1'd thee as n1Ístress own. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


My brother sought the cellar-maid, 
And suffered her no rest; 
She gave him a refreshing draught, 
A kiss, too, she impressed. 


My cousin is a prudent ,vight, 
The cook's by him adored; 
He turns the spit round ceaselessly, 
To gain love's sweet reward. 


We six together then began 
A banquet to consume, 
When 10 I a fourth pair singing canle, 
And danced into the rOOln. 


Welcome were they, - and \velcome, too, 
Was a fifth jovial pair, 
Brimful of news, and stored with tales 
And jests both new and rare. 


For riddles, spirit, raillery, 
And wit, a place remained; 
A sixth pair then our circle joined, 
And so that prize was gained. 


And yet, to nlake us truly blest, 
One missed we, and full sore; 
A true and tender couple came,- 
We needed then no more. 


The social banquet no\v goes on, 
Unchequered by alloy; 
The sacred double-numbers then 
Let all at once enjoy! 


85 



86 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE SPRING ORACLE. 


OR, prophetic bird so bright, 
Blossonl-songster, cuckoo hight! 
In the fairest time of year, 
Dearest bird, oh ! deign to hear 
What a youthful pair would pray; 
Do thou call, if hope they may; 
Thy cuck-oo, thy cuck-oo, 
Ever more cuck-oo, cuck-oo! 


Hearest thou? A loving pair 
Fain would to the altar fare; 
Yes! a pair in happy youth, 
Full of virtue, full of truth. 
Is the hour not fixed by fate? 
Say, how long nlust they still wait? 
Hark! cuck-oo ! hark! cuck-oo ! 
Silent yet! for shame, cuck-oo! 


'Tis not our fault, certainly! 
Only two years patient be! 
But if we ourselves please here, 
Will pa-pa-papas appear? 
Know that thou'lt more kindness do us, 
More thou'lt prophesy unto us. 
One! cuck-oo ! Two! cuck-oo ! 
Ever, ever, cuck-oo, cuck-oo, coo !- 


If we've calculated clearly, 
We have half a dozen nearly. 
If good promises we'll give, 
'Yilt thou say how long we'll live ? 
Trul y, \ve'll confess to thee, 
We'd prolong it \villingly. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Coo, cuck-oo, coo, cuck-oo! 
COO, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo! 


Life is one continued feast- 
(If \ve keep no score, at least). 
If now we together dwell, 
'\Vill true love remain as well ? 
For if that should e'er ùecay, 
Happiness \vould pass away. 
Coo, cuck-oo, coo, cuck-oo, 
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo! 
(Graceful1y in -infinitum.) 


THE HAPPY COUPLE. 


AFTER these vernal rains 
That we so warn1ly sought, 
Dear wife, see how our plains 
With blessings sweet are fraught! 
We cast our distant gaze 
Far in the n1Ïsty blue; 
Here gentle love still strays, 
Here dwells still rapture true. 


Thou see'st whither go 
Yon pair of pigeons \v hite, 
Where s\velling violets blow 
Round sunny foliage bright, 
'Twas there we gathered first 
A nosegay as we roved; 
There into fian1e first burst 
The passion that \ve proved. 


Yet when, with plighted troth, 
The priest beheld us fare) 


87 



88 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Home from the altar both, 
With nlany a youthful pair,- 
Then other n100ns had birth, 
And nlany a beauteous sun, 
Then we had gained the earth 
Whereon life's race to run. 


A hundred th ousan d fold 
The Inighty bond \vas sealed j 
In woods, on nloulltains cold, 
In bushes, in the field, 
Within the wall, in caves, 
Aud 01L the craggy height, 
And love, e'en o'er the waves, 
Bore in his tube the light. 


Contented we relnained, 
We deelned ourselves a pair j 
'Twas other\vise ordained, 
For, lo! a third was there; 
A fourth, fifth, sixth avpeared, 
And sat around our board; 
And now the pIa tits 'we've reared 
High o'er our heads have soared. 


Ho\v fair and pleasant looks, 
On yonder beauteous spot, 
Embraced by poplar-brooks, 
The newly finished cot! 
Who is it there that sits 
In that glad home above? 
Is't not our darling Fritz 
With his own darling love? 


Beside yon precipice, 
Whence pent-up waters steal, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And, leaving the abyss, 
:Fall foan1Ïng through the wheel,- 
Though people often tell 
Of n1Ïllers' wives so fair, 
Yet none can e'er excel 
Our dearest daughter there! 


Yet where the thick-set green 
Stanùs rounù yon church and sod, 
Where the old fir-tree's seen 
Alone tow'rd heaven to nod,- 
'Tis there the ashes lie 
Of our untÜnely dead; 
From earth our gaze on high 
By their blest llleinory's led. 


See ho\v yon hill is bright 
'\Vith billowy-waving arms! 
The force returns, whose nlight 
Has vanquished war's alarms. 
Who proudly hastens here 
With \vreath-encircled brow? 
'Tis like our child so dear! - 
Thus Charles comes homeward now, 


That dearest honoured guest 
Is welcomed by the bride; 
She nlakes the true one blest, 
At the glad festal tide. 
And everyone makes haste 
To join the dance with glee; 
While thou with \vreaths hast graced 
The youngest children three. 


To sound of flute and horn 
The time appears renewed, 


89 



9 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


When we, in love's young morn, 
In the glad dance upstoud; 
And perfect bliss I know 
Ere the year's course is run, 
For to the font we go 
With grandson and with son I 


SONG OF FELLOWSHIP. 


[Written and sung in honour of the birthday of the Pastor 
Ewald, at the time of Goethe's happy connection with Lili.] 


Ix every hour of joy 
That love and ,vine prolong, 
The luonlents we'll enlploy 
To carol forth this song! 
We're gathered in His name, 
Whose power hath brought us here, 
He kindled first our flame, 
He bids it burn more clear. 


Then gladly glow to-night, 
And let our hearts combine! 
Up! quaff \vith fresh delight 
This glass of sparkling wine! 
Up! hail the joyous hour, 
And let your kiss be true; 
With each new bond of power 
The old becomes the new! 


Who in our circle lives, 
A,nd is not happy there? 
True liberty it gives, 
And Lrother's love so fair. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thus heart and heart through life 
With Illutual love are filled; 
And by no causeless strife 
Our union is e'er chilled. 


Our hopes a God has crowned 
With life-discernluent free, 
And all we view around, 
Hene,vs our ecstasy. 
N e' er by caprice oppressed, 
Our bliss is 11e' er destroyed; 

iore freely throbs our breast, 
By fancies ne'er alloyed. 


Where'er our foot ,ve set, 
The more life's path extends, 
And brighter, brighter yet 
Our gaze on high ascends. 
We know 110 grief or pain, 
Though all things fall and rise; 
Long n1ay we thus remain! 
Eternal be our ties! 


CONSTANCY IN CHANGE. 


COULD this early bliss but rest 
Constant for one single hour! 
But e'en now the humid west 
Scatters nlany a vernal shower. 
Should the verdure give n1e joy? 
'Tis to it I owe the shade; 
Soon will storms its bloon1 drstroy, 
Soon will Autumn bid it fade, 


9 t 



9 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Eagerly thy portion seize, 
If thou wouldst possess the fruit! 
Fast begin to ripen these, 
And the rest already to shoot. 
With each heavy storm of rain 
Change COBles o'er thy valley fair; 
Once, alas! but not again 
Can the sanle strealll hold thee e'er. 


And thyself, what erst at least 
:Firm as rocks appeared to rise, 
Walls and palaces thou seest 
But with ever-changing eyes. 
}'led for ever no\v the lip 
That with kisses used to glow, 
And the foot, that userl to Rkip 
O'er the mountain, like the roe. 


And the hand, so true and warm, 
Ever raised in charity, 
And the cunning-fashionerl form,- 
All are now changed utterly. 
And what used to bear thy nalne 
When upon you spot it stood, 
Like a rolling billow came, 
Hastening on to join the flood. 


Be then the beginning found 
\Vith the end in unison, 
Swifter than the forms around 
Are themselves now fleeting on ! 
Thank the nlerit in thy breast, 
Thank the nlouId within thy heart, 
That the 1\1uses' favour blest 
Ne'er ,vill perish, ne'er depart. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


93 


TABLE SONG, 


[Composed for the merry party already mentioned, on the oc- 
casion of the departure for France of the hereditary prince, who 
was one of the number, and who is especially alluded to in 
the third verse.] 


O'ER me, - how I cannot say,- 
Heavenly rapture's growing. 
Will it help to guide n1Y way 
To yon stars all-glowing? 
Yet that here I'd sooner be, 
To assert I'Ul able, 
Where, ,vith ,vine antI hannony, 
I may thUlllp the table. 


Wonder not, Iny dearest friends, 
What 'tis gives nle pleasure; 
For of all .that earth e'er lends, 
'Tis the sweetest treasure. 
Therefore solemnly I s,vear, 
With no reservation, 
That Inaliciously I'll ne'er 
Leave my present station. 


N ow that here ,ve're gathered round, 
Chasing cares and SlUlllbers, 
Let, Inethought, the gublet sound 
To the bard's glad nUlnbers! 
Many a hundred lnile a,vay, 
Go those we love dearly; 
Therefore let us here to-day 
Make the glass ring clearly! 


Here's His health through whom we live! 
I that faith inherit. 



94 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


To our king the next toast give, 
Honour is his rllerit, 
'Gainst each in and out ward foe 
He's our rock and tower. 
Of his n1aintenance thinks he though, 
1\10re that grows his power. 


Next to her good health I drink J 
Who has stirred my passion; 
Of his nlistress let each think, 
Think in knightly fashion. 
If the beauteous n1aid but see 
WhOIll 'tis I now call so, 
Let her srniling nod to lne: 
"Here's IllY love's health also." 


To those friends, - the two or three, - 
Be our next toast given, 
In whose presence revel' we, 
In the silent even,- 
Who the gloorllY n1ist so cold 
S catter O'entl y liuhtl y ' 
b , b , 
To those friends, then, lle\V or old, 
Let the toast ring brightly. 


Broader no\v the stream rolls on, 
With its ,va ves more s\velling, 
While in higher, nobler tone, 
Cornrades, ,ve are dwelling,- 
We who \vith collected n1ight 
Bravely cling together, 
Both in for
une's sunshine bright, 
And in stormy weather. 


J list as we are gathered thus, 
Others are collected; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


95 


On thenl, therefore, as on us, 
Be Fate's smile directed! 
From the spring-head to the sea, 
1\1any a mill's revolving, 
And the world's prosperity 
Is the task I'm solving. 


WONT AND DONE. 


I HAVE loved; for the first time with passion I rave! 
I then was the servant, but no\v am the slave; 
I then was the servant of an : 
By this creature so charming I now anI fast bound, 
To love and love's guerdon she turns all around, 
And her my sole n1Ïstl'ess I call. 


I've had faith; for the first time my faith is now strong! 
And though matters go strangely, though matters go 
wrong, 
To the ranks of the faithful 1'111 true: 
Though ofttimes 't,vas dark, and though ofttÜnes 'twas 
drear, 
In the pressure of need, and ,vhen danger ,vas near, 
Yet the dawning of light I now view. 


I have eaten; but ne'er have thus relished Iny food! 
:For when glad are the senses and joyous the blood, 
At table all else is effaced : 
As for youth, it but swallows, then whistles an air; 
As for me, to a jovial resort I'd repair, 
Where to eat and enjoy \vhat I'd taste. 


I have drunk; but have never thus relished the bowl! 
For wine makes us lords, and enlivens the soul, 
And loosens the trenlbling slave's tongue. 



9 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Let's seek not to spare then the heart-stirring drink, 
For though in the barrel the old wine nlay sink, 
In its place ,,,,ill fast mellow the young. 


I have danced, and to dancing anl pledgetl by a vow! 
_ Though no caper or waltz 11lay be raved about now, 
In a dance that's becoming, 'whirl round. 
And he 'who a nosegay of flowers has dressed, 
And cares not for one any more than the rest, 
"Tith a garland of love is aye crowned. 


Then once n10re be merry, and banish all woes! 
For he who but gathers the blossoIuing rose, 
By its thorns will be tickled alone. 
To-day still, as yesterday, glinlnlers the star; 
Take care from all heads that hang do\vn to keep far, 
And make but the future thine own. 


V ANITAS, V ANITATUl\I V ANITAS. 


ON nothing have I set my heart, 
Hurrah! 
So in the world I bear my part, 
Hurrah! 
And \\-hoso will be friend of mine 

fust join with me, and not decline 
To clink a glass of wine. 


I set my heart on goods and wealth, 
Hurrah! 
I lost thereby my nerves and health, 
Hurrah! 
The coins they rolled off far and wide, 
And what with one hand I did hide, 
In t' other would not bide. 



POE:\'\S OF GOETHE 


On WOlllall next I 
et lIlY heart, 
Hurrah I 
Fronl thelll I suffered nlany a smart, 
Ah, ah I 
The false one sought another lord, 
With the true one I was greatly Lured, 
The best could not aft' ord. 


To travel next I did apply, 
Hurrah I 
Fronl house and kindred off did fly, 
A.h, ah ! 
rIll pleased with nothing 1 have seen,- 
The food ,vas coarse, the bed not clean, 
N one knew \v hat I did IHeall. 


On honours next l1lY heart I sep, 
Hurrah I 
But 10 I Iny neighbour nlore did get, 
Ah, all ! 
And when I had adyaneed Iny nan1e 
The folks did look askance, and blame 
As though I hurt their faine. 


I set nlY heart on fighting then, 
II url'ah I 
And many a battle \ve did gain, 
Ah, ah I 
We lua rched the foeluan's country through, 
Much profit there did not accrue, - 
My leg's loss there I rue. 


Now I have set my heart on nought, 
Hurrah I 
The whole ,vorld to n1)" fpet i
 brought, 
,A,h, all 
 


97 



9 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


My song and feast to end I'm fain, 
So everyone your glasses drain, - 
Let not a drop remain! 


FORTUNE OF WAR. 


NOUGHT more accursed in war I know 
Than getting off scot-free; 
Inured to danger, on we go 
In constant victory; 
We first unpack, then pack again, 
With only this re\vard, 
That \vhen we're lllarching, \ve complain, 
And when in carrlp are bored. 


The time for billeting cornes next,- 
The peasant curses it; 
Each nobleman is sorely vexed, 
'Tis hated by the cit. 
Be civil, bad though be thy food, 
The clowns politely treat; 
If to our hosts we're ever rude, 
Jail-bread wó're forced to eat. 


And when the cannon growl around, 
And small arms rattle clear, 
And trU111pet, trot, and drums resound, 
We nlerry all appear; 
And as it in the fight may chance, 
We yield, then charge amain, 
And now retire, and now advance, 
And yet a cross ne'er gain. 


At length there conles a Inusket-ball, 
And hits the leg, please heaven; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And then our trouLles vanish all, 
For to the to\Yll \ve're driven, 
(Well covered by the victor's force), 
Where we in \vrath first came,- 
The WOlnen, frightened then, of course, 
Are loving now and tame. 


Cellar and heart are opened ,vide, 
The cook's allo\ved no rest: 
While beds with softest do\vn supplied 
Are by our menlbers pressed. 
The uÏ111ble lads upon us \vait, 
No sleep the hostess takes; 
Her shift is torn in pieces straight,- 
What wondrous lint it makes! 


If one has tended carefully 
The hero's \vounded IÜn b, 
Her neighbour cannot rest, for she 
Has also tended him. 
A third arrives ill equal haste, 
At length they all are there, 
And in the nÜddle he is placed 
Of the 'whole band so fair! 


On good authority the king 
Hears how \ve love the fight, 
And bids them cross and ribbon bring, 
Our coat and breast to dight. 
Say if a better fate can e'er 
A son of l\fars pursue! 
'Midst tears at length we go from there, 
Beloved and honoured, too. 


99 



100 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


COPTIC SONG. 


HO\VE'ER they may wrangle, your pundits and sages, 
And love of contention infects all the breed, 
All the philosophers, search through all ages, 
Join with one voice in the following creed: 
Fools from their folly 'tis hopeless to stay! 
l\lules will be mules, by the law of their mulishness; 
Then be advised, and leave fools to their foolishness, 
What fronl an ass can you get but a bray? 


When Merlin I questioned, the old necromancer, 
As halo'd ,vith light in his coffin he lay, 
I got fronl the ,vizard a similar answer, 
And thus ran the burden of what he did say: 
Fools from their folly 'tis hupeless to stay! 
l\Iules will be mules, by the law of their mulishness; 
Then be advised, and leave fools to their foolishness, 
'Vhat froin an ass can be got but a bray? 


And up on the wind-s,vept peaks of Arrnenia, 
And down in the depths, far hid frorn the day, 
Of the tenlples of Egypt and far Abyssinia 
This, and but this, ,vas the go:-.;pel ahvay : 
:Fools fro In their folly 'tis hopelesb to stay! 
l\Iules will be rIlules, Ly the la,v of their Iuulishness j 
Then be advised, and leave fools to their foolishness, 
What frorn an ass can be got but a bray? 


ANOTHER. 


Go! obedient to nlY call, 
Turn to profit thy young days, 
Wiser make betin1es thy breast! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


In Fate's balance as it sways, 
Seldoln is the cock at rest; 
Thou must either luount, or fall, 
Thou must either rule and \vin, 
Or subnlissively give in, 
Triumph, or else yield to clamour, 
Be the anvil or the hanuner. 


OPEN TABLE. 


1\1ANY a guest I'd see to-day, 
l\fet to taste IllY dishes! 
Food in plenty is prepared, 
Birds, and gaIne, and fishes. 
Invitatioqs all have had, 
All proposed attending. 
Johnny, go anù look around I 
Are they hither wending? 


Pretty girls 1 hope to see, 
Dear and guileless misses, 
Ignorant ho\v s\veet it is 
Giving tender kisses. 
Invitations all have had, 
All proposed attending. 
Johnny, go and look around! 
Are they hither wending? 


Women also I expect, 
Loving toward their spouses, 
"\Vhose rude grun1bling in their breasts 
Greater love but rouses. 
Invitations they've had, too, 
All proposed attending. 
Johnny, go and look around! 
Are they hither wending? 


101 



102 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I've too asked young gentlen1en, 
'Vho are far frunl haughty, 
And ,vhose purses are all well-stocked, 
Well behaved, not naughty. 
These especially 1 asked, 
All proposed attending. 
J ohllny, go and look around! 
Are they hither wending? 


Men I sUlllllloned \vith respect, 
'Vho their OWll ,vivl 1 s treasure; 
Who in ogling other Fair 
N ever take a pleasure. 
To IllY greetings they replied, 
All proposed attending. 
Johnny, go and look around! 
Are they hither wending? 


Then to make our joy conlplete, 
Poets I invited, 
"Vho love othCTS' songs far Jl10re 
Than \vhat they've iJlùiteù. 
All acceded to Iny wish, 
All proposed attending. 
Johnny, go and look arounù ! 
Are they hither wending? 


Not a single one appears, 
N one seem this ,yay posting. 
All the soup boils fast away, 
Joints are over-roasting. 
Ah, I fear that we have been 
Rather too unbending! 
Johnny, tell nle ,vhat you think! 
N one are hither wending. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Johnny, run, anù quickly bring 
Other guests to me now! 
Each arriving as be is- 
That's the plan, I see now. 
In the town at once 'tis known 
Everyone's commending. 
Johnny, open all the doors : 
All are hither wending. 


THE RECKO
ING. 


LEADER. 
LET no cares now hover o'er us ! 
Let the wine unsparing run I 
Wilt thou swell our Inerry chorus? 
Hast thou all thy duty done? 


SOLO. 
Two young folks - the thing is curious- 
Loved each other; yesterday 
Both quite mild, to-day quite furious, 
Next day, quite the deuce to pay! 
If her neck she there was stooping, 
He must here needs pull his hair, 
I revived their spirits drooping, 
And they're now a happy pair. 


CHORUS. 
Surely we for wine may languish! 
Let the bumper then go round! 
For all sighs and groans of anguish 
Thou to-day in joy hast drowned. 


10 3 



10 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SOLO. 
Why, young orphan, all this wailing? 
"'V oulù to heavell that I ,vere dead! 
For my guardian's craft prevailing 
Soon ,vill make me beg n1Y bread." 
Kno\ving well the rascal genus, 
Into court I dragged the knave; 
Fair the judges were between us, 
And the maiùen's wealth did save. 


CHORUS. 
Surely \ve for wine may languish! 
Let the bun1per then go round! 
For all sighs and groans of anguish 
. Thou to-day in joy hast drowned, 


SOLO. 
To a little fellow, quiet, 
Unpretending and subdued, 
Has a big clown, running riot, 
Been to-day extren1ely rude. 
I bethought me of my duty, 
And my courage s\velled apace, 
So I spoiled the rascal's beauty, 
Slashing him across the face. 


CHORUS. 
Surely we for ,vine may languish! 
Let the bumper then go round! 
For all sighs and groans of anguish 
Thou to-day in joy hast drowned. 


SOLO. 
Brief must he Iny explanation, 
For I really have done nought. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Free frOB1 trouble and vexation, 
I a landlord's business Lought. 
There I've done with all due ardour 
All that duty ordered me; 
Each one asked lTIe for the larder, 
And there was no scarcity. 


CHORUS. 
Surely we for wine may languish! 
I.Æt the bllluper then go round! 
For all sighs and groans of anguish 
Thou to-day in joy hast drowned. 


LEADER. 
Each should thus nlake proclamation 
Of what he did well to-day! 
That's the Inatch whose conflagration 
Should inflame our tuneful lay. 
Let it be our precept ever 
To admit no waverer here! 
For to act the good endeavour, 
None but rascals meek appear. 


CHORUS. 
Surely we for wine n1ay languish! 
Let the bumper then go round! 
For all sighs and groans of anguish 
We have now in rapture drowned. 


TRIO. 
Let each merry n1Ïnstrel enter, 
He's right welcome to our hall I 
'Tis but with the self-tormentor 
That we are not liberal; 


10 5 



106 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


For we fear thai his caprices, 
That his eyebrows dark and sad, 
That his grief that never ceases 
Hide an enlpty heart, or bad. 


CHORUS. 
Noone now for wine shall languish! 
Here no n1Ïnstrel shall be found, 
Who all sighs and groans of anguish 
Has not first in rapture drowned! 


l\lIGNON. 


[This universally known poem is also to be found in "Wilhelm 
l\Ieister. " ] 


" KNO\VEST thou the land where citron-apples bloom, 
And uranges like gold in leafy gloonl, ' 
A gentle wind frOln deep blue heaven blows, 
The lllyrtle thick, and high the laurel gro\vs ? 
Knowest thou it then? 
'Tis there! 'Tis there! 
o my true loved one, thou with me HUlst go ! 


" Kno,vest thou the house, its porch ,vith pillars tall, 
The rooms do glitter, glitters bright the hall, 
And lllarble statues stand, and look each one: 
What's this, poor child, to thee they've done? 
Kno\vest thou it then ? 
'Tis there! 'Tis there! 
o lllY protector, thou with me nlust go ! 


"Knowest thou the hill, the bridge that hangs on 
clouds, 
The mules in mist grope o'er the torrent loud, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


In caves lay coiled the dragon's ancient hood, 
The crag leaps do,vn, and over it the flood: 
Knowest thuu it then 1 
'Tis there! 'Tis there 1 
Our way rUllS; 0 lllY father, wilt thou go 1" 


GE
ERAL COKFESSION. 


IN this noble ring to-day 
Let illY warning shanle ye 1 
Listen to my solemn voice,- 
Seldoul does it name yea 

Iany a thing have ye intended, 

lany a thing have badly ended, 
And now I 111Ust blallle ye. 


At some filoment in our lives 
We Inust all repent us ! 
So confess, with pious trust, 
All your sins n1umentous! 
Error's crooked pathways shunning, 
Let us, on the straight road running, 
Honestly content us ! 


Yes! 'we've oft, when waking, dreamed 
Let's confess it rightly; 
Left undrained the brinul1ing cup, 
When it sparkled brightly; 
Many a shepherd's-hour's soft blisses, 
Many a dear mouth's flying kisses 
We've neglected lightly. 


Mute and silent have we sat, 
Whilst the blockheads prated, 


10 7 



108 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And above e'en song divine 
Have their babblillgs rated; 
To account \ve've even called us 
:For the 1110ments that enthralled us 
With enjoynlent freighted. 


If thou'lt abso
ution grant 
To thy true ones ever, 
We, to execute thy will, 
Ceaseless will endeavour, 
From half-n1easures strive to wean us, 
Wholly, fairly, well demean us, 
Resting, flagging never. 


At all blockheads we'll at once 
Let our laugh ring clearly, 
And the pearly-foan1Ïng wine 
Never sip at merely. 
Ne'er with eye alone give kisses, 
But 'with boldness suck in blisses 
From those lips loved dearly. 


ERGO BIBAMUS! 


FOR a praiseworthy object we're now gathered here, 
So, brethren, sing: ERGO BIBAMUS! 
Tho' talk Inay be hushed, yet the glasses ring clear, 
Remelnber then, ERGO BIBAMUS! 
I n truth 'tis an old, 'tis an excellent word, 
With its sound so befitting each boson! is stirred, 
And an echo the festal hall filling is heard, 
A glorious ERGO BIBAMUS! 


I saw n1ine own love in her beauty so rare, 
And bethought me of: ERGO BIpAMUS; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


10 9 


So I gently approached, and she let llle stand there, 
\Vhile I helped Inyself, thinking: BIBAMUS! 
And \vhen she's appeared, and will clasp you and kiss, 
. Or when those embraces and kisses ye miss, 
Take refuge, till found is SOllIe \vorthier bliss, 
In the comforting ERGO BIBÂ:\IUS! 


I am called by nlY fate far away frOll1 each friend; 
Ye loved ones, then: ERUO RIBÂMUS 1 
With \vallet light-laden from hence I must \vend, 
So (louble our ERGO BIBA:\lL'S I 
Whate'er to his treasure the niggard may add, 
Yet regard for the joyous \vill ever he had, 
:For gladness lends ever its charrns to the glad, 
So, brethren, sing: ERGO BIß.\)lL'S! 


And \vhat shall \ve say of to-day as it flies? 
I thought but of: ERGO BIBA:\lUS! 
'Tis one of those truly that seldolll arise, 
So again and again sing: BIBAMCS! 
For joy through a \vide-open portal it guides, 
Bright glitter the clouds as the curtain divides, 
And a forIn, a divine one, to greet us ill glides, 
While we thunder our: ERGO BIBA)lUS. 


THE l\rI
RTnEL. 


[This fine poem is introduced in the second book of "'Vilhelm 
Meister. "] · 


" \VH
\.T tuneful strains salute mine ear 
Without the castle walls? 
Oh, let the song reëcho here, 
Within our festal halls I " 



110 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thus spake the king, the page out-hied; 
The Loy returned; the lllonarch cried: 
" Adn1Ït the old man yonder!" 


" All hail, ye noble lords to-night! 
All hail, ye beauteous dalnes! 
Star placed by star! "\Yhat heavenly sight! 
"Tho e'er can tell their nalnes ? 
Within this glittering hall su Llime, 
Be closed mine eyes! 'tis not the tin1e 
For me to feast my ,vonder." 


The minstrel straight\vay closed his eyes, 
And \voke a thrilling tone; 
The knights looked on in knightly guise, 
Fair looks toward earth were thr<Hvn. 
The ll1onarch, ravished by the strain, 
Bade them bring forth a golden chain, 
To be his numbers' guerdon. 


"The golden chain give not to me, 
But give the chain to those 
In whose bold face we shivered see 
The lances of our foes. 
Or give it to thy chancellor there; 
With other burdens he ll1ay bear 
This one more golden burden. 


"I sing, like birds of blithesome note, 
That in the hranches d\vell; 
The song that riseR froll1 the throat 
Repays the minstrel well. 
One boon I'd crave, if not too bold- 
One bumper in a cup of gold 
Be as my guerdon giveb." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


III 


The bowl he raised, the bowl he quaffed: 
" Oh, drink, \vith solace fraught! 
o house thrice-blest, where such a draught 
A trifling gift is thought! 
When Fortune smiles, remember me, 
And as I thank you heartily, 
As warmly thank ye, Heaven!" 


EPIPHANIAS. 


THE three holy kings with their star's bright ray,- 
They eat and they drink, but had rather not pay; 
They like to eat and drink away, 
They eat and drink, but had rather not pay. 


The three holy kings have all COIne here, 
In numbers not four, but three they appear; 
And if a fourth joined the other three, 
Increased by one their Dumber would be. 


The first am I, - the fair and the \vhite, 
I ought to be seen \vhen the sun shines bright. 
But, alas! with all nlY spices and ll1yrrh, 
No girlno\v likes me, - I please not her. 


The next a In I, - the brown and the long, 
Known well to wonlen, kno\vn well to song, 
Instead of spices, 'tis gold I bear, 
And so I'm welcome everywhere. 


The last am I, - the black and small, 
And fain would be right merry withal. 
I like to eat and to chink fun meRRure, 
I eat and drink, and give thanks with pleasure. 



112 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


The three holy kings are friendly and n1Ïld, 
They seek the l\Iother, and seek the Child; 
The pious Joseph is sitting by, 
The ox and the ass on their litter lie. 


We're bringing gold, we're bringing myrrh, 
The women incense always prefer; 
And if \ve have \vine of a \vorthy growth, 
We three to drink like six are not loth. 


As here \ve see fair lads and lasses, 
But not a sign of oxen or asses, 
We know that we bave gone astray, 
And so go further on our way, 


BALLAD 


OF THE EXILED AND RETURNING COL"NT. 


[Goethe began to write an opera called" I,öwenstuhl, ., founded 
upon the old tradition which forms the subject of this ballad, but 
he never carried out his design. J 


COME in, dear old man, come in
ide, do come on! 
Do\vn here in the hall we shall be quite alone, 
And the gate we will lock altogether. 
For, lllother is praying, and father is gone 
To shoot the ,vild wolves on the heather. 
Oh! sing us a tale, then again and again, 
That my brother and I learn the measure; 
To hear a fine Ininstrel we shall be so fain, 
The childrep will listen with pleasure. 


cc In terror of night, during hostile attack, 
On house full of splendour he's turning his back, 
His most precious things he did bury. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


113 


The wicket to open the count is not slack; 
What, then, iri his arIllS does he carry? 
What, under his nlantle may hidden he keep? 
What bears he to distance, what treasure 1 
His daughter it is, there the child is asleep" - 
The children are list'ning with pleasure. 


" The nlorning is breaking, the ,vorld is so wide, 
In valleys and ulountains does shelter abide, 
The villagers kindness are sho'wing; 
A n1Ïnstrel, thus long he must \vander and stride, 
His beard long and longer is growing; 
But lovely grows also the child on his arnl, 
As though he of ,vealth had rich lneasure; 
His nlantle protects her frorn every barnl"- 
The children are list'ning \vith pleasure. 


" And tinle lHany years in its course onward drags, 
The n1antle is faded, it has fallen to rags, 
It could her not hold any longer. 
The father beholds her, his joy never flags, 
Each day it gro\vs btronger anù stronger. 
So noble, so beautiful she does appear, 
He deenls her beyond ev'ry treasure; 
How rich she is nlaking her father so dear!"- 
The children are lisfning with pleasure. 


"Up rides a princely and chivalrous knight, 
She reaches her hand out, an alms to invite; 
It is not such gift he would grant her. 
The tender hand grasping \vith full, lnanly n1Ïght: 
, For life,' he exclaiIned, 'T do want her!' 
, Wilt nlake her a princess?' the old nlan replied, 
, Dost recugnise her as thy treasure? 
Then be she betrothed 011 this verdant hillside!'''- 
The children are list'ning \vith pleasure. 



114 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" The priest, in the holy place, blesses the pair, 
With joy and \vith grief she now hence doth repair. 
She likes not to part ,vith her father. 
The old lnan is wand'l'ing now here and no,v there, 
Fron1 pain he doth happiness gather. 
Thus have I for years kept n1Y daughter in sight, 
l\Iy grandchild, like her, a s\veet treasure; 
I bless them by day and I bless thern by night"- 
The children are list'ning with pleasure. 


He blesses the children, he blesses them twice; 
There's noise at the gate, it is burst in a trice, 
The children the old nlan environ- 
"Why, beggar, ,vhy, fool, doth ll1Y children entice? 
On, seize hirn, ye 111en clad in iron! 
A ,yay to the dungeon ,,'ith hÜn : " he repeats; 
Fron1 far as she hears the harsh lneasure, 
Down hastens the 111 other, and flatt'ring entreats- 
The children, they hear her ,,,-ith pleasure. 


The nlen stand apart froin the ,vorthy old IHan, 
Both nlother and children beseech all they can; 
The princely and proud nlan represses 
The furious rage \vhich their prayers but fan, 
Till bursts \vhat his spirit distresses: 
u You beggarly brood, high nobility's hlight! 
IVly patience you've tried beyond nJeasure; 
You bring me destruction: It serves 111e quite right"
 
The children hear this ,,-ith displeasure. 


The noble old lnan stalHIs ,vith look darting fire, 
The men 'who have seized hirn still farther retire, 
With fury the other is flaring! 
" Oft cursed have I ,veLllock so mean and so dire, 
Such blossoms such fruits e'er are bearing! 
'Tis justly denied, that acquired be, the grace 
E' er can, of nobility's treasure. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


lIS 


The beggar has borne nle a beggarly race" - 
The children still list with displeasure, 


" And if thus the ,husband, the father rejects 
You, rashly the rnost sacred ties disconnects, 
You'll find in your grandsire a father! 
The beggar your father so little respects 
Will honour and wealth for you gather. 
This castle is mine! Thou didst rob nle of it; 
I know where I've hid ev'ry treasure; 
I bear with me warrant by royal hand writ!"- 
The children are list'ning with pleasure. 


" Legitimate king has returned to his land, 
Gives back what was taken fronl true followers' band, 
Laws gentle and n1Ïld is proclailning." 
The olù nlan thus spoke \vith a look kind and bland, 
" J\fy son, thee no longer 1'111 blaming; 
Return to thyself from thy fury's wild flood, 
I'll loosen the seals of each treasure, 
Thy princess has borne thee a true princely blood"- 
The children are list'ning with pleasure. 


TIlE FAITHLESS BOY. 


THERE \vas a wooer blithe and gay,- 
A son of 
-'rance \vas he,- 
Who in his arnlS for IllRny a day, 
As though his bride were she, 
A poor young rllaiden had caressed, 
And fondly kissed, and fondly pressed, 
And then at length deserted. 


When this was told the nut-brown n1aid, 
Her senses straightway fled; 



116 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


She laughed and 'wept, and vowed and prayed, 
And presently ,vas dead. 
The hour her soul its farewell took, 
The boy ,vas sad, with terror shook, 
Then sprang upon his charger. 


He drove his spurs into his side, 
And scoured the country round; 
But \vheresoever he Inight ride, 
No rest- for hinl was found. 
For seven long days and nights he rode, 
It stormed, the ,vaters overflowed, 
It blustered, lightened, thundered. 


On rode he through the tempest's din, 
Till he a building spied; 
In search of shelter crept he in, 
When he his steed had tied. 
Anù as he groped his doubtful way, , 
The ground began to rock and sway,- 
He fell a hundred fathollls. 


When he recovered from his blow, 
He 
a w three lights pass by; 
He sought in their pursuit to go, 
The lights appeared to fly. 
They led his footsteps all astray, 
Up, down, through nlany a narrow way 
Through ruined desert cellars. 


When 10! he stood within a hall, 
A hundred guests sat there, 
With hollow eyes, and grinning an ; 
They bade him taste the fare. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


117 


He saw his sweetheart 'midst the throng, 
Wrapped up in grave-clothes white and long; 
She turned, and _ 1 


THE ERI.J - KING. 


'VHO rides there so late through the night dark and 
drear ? 
The father it is, with his infant so dear; 
He holdeth the boy tightly clasped in his arnl, 
He holdeth hÎ1ll safely, he keepeth him wanD. 


"l\ly son, \vherefore seek'st thou thy face thus to 
hide ? " 
" Look, father, the Erl-King is close by our side! 
Dost see not the Erl-Xing, \vith crown alld \vith train?" 
" l\fy son, 'tis the n1Ïst rising over the plain." 


"Oh, come, thou ùear infant! oh, come thou with me ! 
Full Inany a gan1e I will play there with thee; 
On IllY strand, lovely flowers their blossoms unfold, 
My l1lother shall grace thee with garments of gold." 


"l\fy father, my father, and dost thou not hear 
The wurds that the Erl-King now breathes in IllIDe 
ea r ? " 
" Be calm, dearest child, 'tis thy fancy deceives; 
'Tis the sad wind that sighs through the \vithering 
leaves." 


" Wilt go, then, dear infant, \vilt go \vith l11e there? 
l\Iy daughters shall tend thee with sisterly care; 


1 This ballad is introduced in Act II. of H Claudine of Villa 
Bella," where it is suddenly broken off, as it is here. 



118 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


l\fy daughters by night their glad festival keep, 
They'll dance thee, and rock thee, and sing thee to 
sleep. " 


" My father, my father, and dost thou not see, 
How the Erl-l\:ing his daughters has brought here for 
TIle? " 
" l\ly darling, my darling, I see it aright, 
'Tis the aged gray willows deceiviug thy sight." 


" I love thee, I'm charn1ed by thy beauty, dear boy! 
And if thou'rt un,villing, then force I'll enlploy." 
" My father, n1Y father, he seizes me fast, 
Full sorely the Erl-King has hurt l11e at last." 


The father no,v gallops, with terror half wild, 
He grasps in his arms the poor shuddering child: 
He reaches his courtyard with toil and ,vith dread,- 
The child in his arms finds he motionless, dead. 


JOHANN A SEBUS. 


[To the memory of an excellent and beautiful girl of seventeen, 
belonging to the village of Brienen, who perished on the 13th of 
January, 1809, whilRt giving help on the occasion of the breaking 
up of the ice on the Rhine, and the bursting of the dam of Claver- 
ham.] 


THE DAM BREAKS DOWN, THE ICE-PLAI
 GROWLS, 
THE FLOODS ARISE, THE 'VATER HOV{LS. 
" I'll bear thee, lllother, across the swell, 
'Tis not yet high, 1 can ,vade right well." 
" Remell1ber us, too! in ,vhat danger are we 1 
Thy fellow lodger and children three! 
The trembling WOlnan ! - Thou'rt going away!" 
She bears the mother across the spray. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


119 


" Quick! haste to the lllound, and. a\vhile there wait, 
I'll soon return, and all ,vill be straight. 
The mound's close by, and safe froln the wet; 
But take my goat, too, my darling pet! " 


THE DAM DIS:::;OL YES, THE ICE-PLAIN GROWLS, 
THE FLOODS DASH ON, THE 'VATER HO\VLS. 
She places the lnother safe on the shore; 

--'air Susan then turns to,vard the flood once more. 
"Oh, ,vhither? Oh, whither? The breadth fast 
grows, 
Both here and there the \vater o'erfiows. 
Wilt venture, thou rash one, the billows to brave?" 
"THEY 
HALL, AND THEY MUST BE PRESERVED FROM 
THE "T AVE ! " 


THE DA:\1 DISAPPEARS, THE 'VATER GRO\VLS, 
, 
LIKE OCEAN BILLO\VS IT HEA YES AND HO\VLS. 
Fair Susan returns by the way she had tried, 
The waves roar around, but she turns not aside; 
She reaches the nlound and the neigh bour straight, 
But for her and the children, alas, too late! 


THE DA
I DISAPPEARED, - LIKE A SEA IT GROWLS, 
ROUND A HILLOCK I
 CIRCLI
G EDDIES IT HOWLS. 
The foaming abyss gapes ,vide, and ,vhirls round, 
The 'VOlnen and children are borne' to the ground; 
The horn of the goat by one is seized fast, 
But, ah, they all must perish at last! 
Fair Susan still stands there, untouched by the wave I 
The youngest, the noblest, oh, who no\v will save! 
Fair Susan still stands there, as bright as a star, 
But, alas! all hope, all assistance is far. 
The foalning waters around her roar. 
To save her no bark pushes off from the shore. 
Her gaze once again she lifts up to heaven, 
Then gentlr a ,vaJT by the flood she is driven. 


" 



120 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


No DAM, NO PLAIX! TO MARK THE PLACE 
SO
IE STRAGGLIKG TREES ARE THE ONLY TRACE. 
The rushing ,vater the ,vilderness covers, 
Yet Susan's Ï111age still over it hovers.- 
The water sinks, the plaills reappear. 
Fair Susall's lalnented \\
ith many a tear,- 
l\lay he wh 0 refuses her story to Lell, 
Be neglected in life and in death as ,veIl I 


THE VIOLET. 


UPON the lnead a violet stood, 
Retiring, and of lllodest lliood, 
In truth, a violet fair. 
Then caIne a youthful s
epherdess, 
And roanled with sprightly joyousness, 
And blithely wooed 
With carols sweet the air. 
. 


cc Ah !" thought the violet, "had I been 
For but the sillallest 1l10lllellt e'en 
Nature's 1110st heauteous flower, 
Till gathered hy IllY love, and pressed, 
When ,yeary, 'gainst her gentle breast, 
For e'en, for e'en 
One y. uarter of an hour!" 


Alas! aIRs! the maid drew nigh, 
The violet failed to llleet her eye, 
She crushed the violet s,veet. 
It sank and died, yet nlul'lnured not: 
"And if I die, oh, happy lot, 
For her I die, 
And at her very feet!" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE BEAUTEOUS FLO\VER. 


SONG OF THE I
IPRISO
ED COUNT. 


COUNT. 
1 KXO\V a flo'\ver of Leauty rare, 
Ah, ho\v I hold it dear! 
To ::5eek it I would fain repair, 
'V ere I not prisoned here. 

Iy SOlTO\V SOI:e oppresses IHe, 

'or when I was at liberty, 
I hall it close beside me. 


Though frOln this castle's \valls so steep 
I cast llline eyes around, 
And gaze oft frun1 the lofty keep, 
The fio\ver cannot be found. 
Who e'er '\vould Lrillg it to 111Y sight, 
Whether a vassal he, or knight, 
l\fy dearest friend I'd deenl hin1. 


THE ROSE. 
I 'blos
oln fair, - thy tale of '\voes 
I hear frOIn 'neath thy grate. 
Thou doubtless lueanest IDe, the rose, 
Poor knight of high estate I 
Tholl hast ill truth a lofty IlJilld; 
The queell uf flowers then is en
hrined, 
I doubt not, in thy bOS01D. 


COUNT. 
Thy red, in dress of green arrayed, 
As worth all praise I hold; 


121 



122 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And so thou'rt treasured by each maid, 
Like precious stones or gold. 
Thy \vreath adorns the fairest face, 
But still thou'rt not the flower whose grace 
I honour here in silence. 


THE LILY. 
The rose is wont with pride to swell, 
And ever seeks to rise; 
But gentle s\veethearts love full well 
The lily's charms to prize. 
The heart that fills a bosom true, 
That is, like me, unsullied, too, 
My merit values duly. 


COUNT. 
In truth, I hope myself unstained, 
And free from grievous crinle; 
Yet I an1 here a prisoner chained, 
Ànd pass in grief nlY tinle. 
To me thou art an iInage sure 
Of nlany a n1aiden, mild and pure, 
Ànd yet I know a dearer. 


THE PINK. 
That must be me, the pink, who scent 
The warder's garden here. 
Or wherefore is he so intent 
My charms with care to rear? 
My petals stand in beauteous ring, 
Sweet incense all around I fling, 
And boast a thousand colours. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


COUNT. 
The pink, in truth, we should not slight, 
It is the gardener's pride; 
It now n1ust stand exposed to light, 
No\v in the shade alliùe. 
Yet \vhat can make the Count's heart glow 
Is no lllere pOlnp of outward show; 
It is a silent fio\ver. 


THE VIOLET. 
Here stand I, nlodestly half hid, 
And fain would silence keep; 
Yet since to speak I now am bid, 
I'll break 111Y silence deep. 
If, worthy I\:night, I an} that flower, 
It grieves nle that I have not power 
To breathe forth all my s\veetness. 


COUNT. 
The violet's charms I prize, indeed, 
So modest 'tis, and fair, 
And smells so sweet; yet more I need 
To ease my heavy care. 
The truth I'll whisper in thine ear: 
Upon these rocky heights so drear, 
I cannot find the loved one. 


The truest maiden 'neath the sky 
Roams ileal' the strcan1 helow, 
And breathes forth many a gentle sigh, 
Till I from hence can go. 
And when she plucks a floweret blue, 
And says" :Forget-me-not ! " - I, too, 
Though far away, c
n 'feel it. 


12 3 



12 4 


POEMS OF GOÉTHE 


Ay, distance only s\vells love's might, 
When fondly love a pair; 
Though prisoned in the dungeon's night, 
In life I linger there; 
And when IllY heart is breaking nigh, 
" Forget-nle-not ! " is all I cry, 
And straightway life returneth. 


SIR CURT'S vVEDI)ING fJOUR,NEY. 


WITH a bridegroom's joyous bearing, 
Mounts Sir Curt his noble beast, 
To his mistress' hOlne repairing, 
There to hold his \vedding feast; 
When a threatening foe advances 
From a desert, rocky spot; 
For the fray they couch their lances, 
Not delaying, speaking not. 


Long the doubtful fight continues, 
V ictory then for Curt declares; 
Conqueror, though with \vearied sinews, 
For\vard on his road he fares. 
'Vhen he sees, though strange it Ina:. T be, 
:Something 'midst the foliage move; 
'Tis a lTJother with her baby, 
Stealing softly through the grove I 


And upon the spot she beckons- 
"'Vherefore, love, this Rpeed so wild? 
Of the wealth thy storehouse reckons, 
IIast thou nought to give thy child?" 
Flames of rapture now dart through hÜn, 
And he longs for nothing n10re, 
While the Inother seen10th to him 
Lovely as the maid of yore. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


12 5 


But he hears his servants blo\ving, 
And bethinks h Inl of his bride; 
And ere long, while oll\vard going, 
Chances past a fair to ride; 
In the booths he forthwith buys him 
For his n1Ïstre
s nH
ny a pledge; 
But, alas! some Jews surprise him, 
And long-standing debts allege. 


And the courts of justice duly 
Send the knight to pri
on straight. 
Oh, accursèd story, truly! 
For a hero, \vhat a fate! 
Can IllY patience such things weather? 
Great is iny perplexity. 
W Oil1en, de Lts, and foes together, 
 
All, no knight escapes scot free! 


'VEDDI
G SONG. 


THE tale of the Count our glad song shall record 
"\Vho had in this castle hiR d ,veIling, 
\Yhere now -are ye feasting the ne\V-1l1arried lord, 
His grandson of whom \ve are telling. 
The Count as Crusader had blazoned his fame, 
Through 11lany a triuluph exalted his nanle, 
And when on his steed to his d \velling he caIne, 
His castle still reared its proud head, 
But servants anù wealth had all fled. 


'Tis true that thou, Count, hast returned to thy home, 
But matters are faring there ill. 
The winds through the chaIn bel's at liberty roam, 
And blow through the windo\vs at will. 



126 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


What's best to be done in a cold autumn night 1 
}"ull nlauy I've passed in nlore piteous plight; 
The nlorll ever settles the Inatter aright. 
TheIl quick, while the 1l100ll shiues so clear, 
To bed on straw, without fear. 


And whilst in a soft pleasing slulnber he lay, 
A motion he feels 'neath his bed. ' 
The rat, an he likes it, nlay rattle away! 
Ay, had he but Cl'lllllbs there outspread! 
But lo! there appears a diminutive \vight, 
A d ,varf 'tis, yet graceful, and bearing a light, 
"\Vith orator-gestures that notice invite, 
At the feet of the Count on the floor 
Who sleeps not, though weary full sore. 


" We've long been accustomed to hold here our feast 
Since thou froIn thy castle first went; 
And as \ve believeù thou wert far in the East, 
To revel e'en no\V \ve were bent. 
And if thou'lt allow it, and seek not to chide, 
"\Ve dwarfs v;ill all banquet ,vith pleasure and pride, 
To honour the \vealthy, the beautiful bride"- 
Says the Count with a slnile, half asleep:- 
" Ye're welcome your quarters to keep!" 


Three knights then advance, riding all in a group, 
'Yho under the bed were concealed; 
And then is a singing and noise-nlakillg troop 
Of strange little figures revealed; 
And wagon on wagon with all kinds of things- 
The clatter they cause through the ear loudly rings- 
The like ne'er ,vas seen save in castles of kings; 
At length, in a chariot of gold, 
The bride and the guest, too, behold! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


12 7 


Then all at full gallop make haste to ad vance, 
Each chooses his place in the hall ; 
With whirling and \valtzillg, anù'light joyous dance, 
They begin \vith their sweethearts the ball. 
The fife and the fiùdle all lllerrily sound, 
They twine, and they glide, and with IIim bleness tound, 
They whisper, and chatter, and clatter around; 
The Count on the scene casts his eye, 
And seelns in a fever to lie. 


They hustle, and bustle, and rattle away 
On table, on bench, and on stool; 
Then all who had JOIned in the festival gay 
With their partners attenlpt to grow cool. 
The hanlS and the sausages ninlbly they bear, 
And meat, fish, and poultry in plenty are there, 
Surrounded with wine of the vintage Hl0st rare; 
Änd when they have revelled full long, 
They vanish at last with a song. 


And if we're to sing all that further occurred, 
Pray cease ye to bluster and prate; 
For what he so gladly in s'1nall sa\v and heard, 
He enjoyed and he practised in great. 
For trumpets, and singing, and shouts without end 
On the bridal-train, chariots anù horsemen attend, 
They conle and appear, and they bow and they bend, 
In merry and countless array, 
Thus was it, thus is it to-day, 



128 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE FISHERJ\IAN. 


THE water rushed, the water swelled, 
A fisherman sat by, 
And gazed upon his dancing float 
With tranquil-dreanÜng eye. 
And as he sits, and as he looks, 
The gurgling waves arise; 
A maid, all bright with ,vater drops, 
Stands straight before his eyes. 
She sang to him, she spake to him: 
" l\fy fish why dost thou snare, 
With hUlnan ,vit and hunlan guile, 
Into the killing air? 
Couldst see how happy fishes live 
Under the strearrl so clear, 
Thyself would plunge intu the stream, 
And live for ever there. 


"Bathe J)ot the lovely sun and n100n 
Within the cool, deep sea, 
And ,vith \vave-breathing faces rise 
In twofold \vitchery ? 
Lure not the misty heaven-deeps, 
So beautiful and blue? 
Lures not thine image, mirrored in 
The fresh eternal de,v ? " 
The water rushed, the ,vater s\velled, 
It clasped his feet, I wis; 
A thrill went through his yearning heart, 
As when two lovers kiss! 
She spake to hin1, she sang to hÜn : 
Resistless ,vas her strain; 
Half drew hinl in, half lured him in; 
He ne'er was seen again. 



"" 



 


'".. 



 1 
,
 


!f'lW 


"'
 



 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE RAT - CATCHER. 


I AM the bard kno\vn far and \vide, 
The travelled rat-catcher beside ; 
A Dlan lnost neeùful to this town, 
So glorious through its old renown. 
Ho\vever 11lany rats I see, 
Ho\v 111any \veasels there Inay be, 
I cleanse the place fronI everyone, 
All neeùs but helter-skelter run. 


SOlnetÜnes the bard so full of cheer 
As a child-catcher \vill appear, 
Who e'en the \vildest captive brings, 
When e'er his golden tales he sings. 
Ho\vever proud each boy ill heart, 
However Inuch the 11laidens start, 
I bid the ehorùs fH,-eet lllusic Hiake, 
And all 11lUst fol1o\v in IllY \vake. 


Sonletillles the skilful Lard ye vie\v 
In forul of nlaiden-catcher, too; 
For he no city enters e'er, 
"\Vithout effecting \vonùers there. 
However coy may be each n1aid, 
Ho\ve'er the WOHlen seem afraid, 
Yet all will love-sick be ere long 
To sound of lnagic lute and song. 
[.Va Capo.] 


'129 



13 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE I(ING OF THULE. 


[This ballad is also introduced in "Faust," where it is sung by 
:Margaret. ] 


THERE \vas a king in Thule, 
\Vas faithful till the grave, 
To \VhUnl his nJistress, dying, 
A golden goblet gave. 


N ought ,vas to hinl 1110re precious; 
He drained it at every bout; 
His eyes \vith tears ran. over, 
As oft as he drauk thereout. 


When caIne his tiIne of dying, 
The to\vns in his land he told, 
Nought else, to his heir denying 
Except the goblet of gold. 


He sat at the royal banquet 
With his knights of high degree, 
In the lofty hall of his father 
In the castle by the sea. 


There stood the old carouser, 
And drank the last life-glow; 
And hurled the hallowed goblet 
Into the tide belo\v. 


He sa,v it plunging and fining, 
And sinking deep in the sea: 
Then fell his eyelids for ever, 
And uever nlore drank he 1 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE TREASURE - SEEKER. 


1. 
]\fANY -weary days I suffered, 
Sick of heart and poor of purse; 
Riches are the greatest blessing- 
Poverty the deepest curse! 
Till at last to dig a treasure 
:Forth I went into the wood - 
cc Fiend! Iny soul is thine for ever!" 
And I signed the scroll with blood. 


II. 
Then I drew the magic circles, 
Kindled the lnysterious fire, 
Placed the herbs and bones in order, 
Spoke the incantation dire. 
And r sought the buried nletal 
'\Vith a spell of Inickle 111Ïght- 
Sought it as my lllaster taught me ; 
Black and stormy was the night. 


III. 
And I sa\v a light appearing 
I n the dista nee, like a star; 
When the nlidnight. hour was tolling, 
Carne it waxing froln afar: 
Came it flashing, swift and sudden, 
AR if fiery \vine it were, 
Flowing froln an open chalice, 
Which a beauteous boy did bear. 


IV. 


And he wore a lustrous chaplet, 
And his eyes were full of thought, 


13 1 


, 



13 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


As he 'stepped into the circle 
vVith the radiance that he hrought. 
And he bade nle taste the guLlet; 
And I thought - "It caunot be, 
That this boy should be the bearer 
Of the Deulon's gifts to nle!" 


v. 
"Taste the draught of pure existence 
Sparkling in this golden lUll, 
And no ll}Ore ,vith baleful nlagic 
Shalt thou hitherwanl return. 
Do not seek for treasures longer; 
Let thy future spell-,vords be, 
Days of labour, nights of resting: 
So shall peace return to thee!" 


THE SPINNER. 


As I calmly sat and span, 
Toiling with all zeal, 
Lo! a young and handso111e man 
Passed my spinning-,vheel. 


And he praised, - what harm was there? _ 
Sweet the things he said- 
Praised my flax-resen1 bling hair, 
And the even thread. 


He with this was not content, . 
But must needs do more; 
And in twain the thread ,vas rent, 
Though 'twas safe before. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


133 


And the flax's stonelike \veight 
Needed to be told; 
But no longer was its state 
,r alued as of old. 


When I took it to the -weaver, 
SOlnething felt I start, 
And lllure quickly, as with fever, 
ThrobLed lIlY treulbling heart. 


Then I Lear the thread at length 
Through the heat, to bleach; 
But, alas, 1 scarce have strength 
To the pool to reach. 


What I ill illY little rOOln 
Span so fine and slight,- 
As was likely, I pre:3ullle- 
Came at last to light. 


THE YOUTH AND THE ]
,fILL - STREAM. 


[This sweet ballad, and the one entitled "The l\Iaid of the 
Mill's Repentance," were written on the occasion of a visit paid by 
Goethe to Hwitzerland. "The 
raiù of the 
lill's Treachery," to 
which the latter forms the sequel, was not written till the follow- 
ing year.] 


YOUTH. 
PRETTY brooklet, gaily glancing 
In the n10rllillg SUB, 
Why so joyous in thy dancing? 
'Vhither dost thou run? 
\Vhat is't lures thee to the vale? 
Tell Ine, if thou hast a tale. 



134 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


BROOK. 
Youth! I .was a brooklet lately, 
'Vandering at 111Y will; 
Then I nlight have moved sedately, 
N O'V, to yonder Inill, 
l\lust I hurry, swift and strong, 
Therefore do I race along. 


YOUTH. 


Brooklet, happy in thy duty, 
N athless thou art free; 
Knowest not the po, vel' of beauty 
That enchaineth 111e! 
Looks the miller's comely daughter 
Ever kindly on thy water? 


BROO K. 


Early comes she every morning, 
From some blissful dreall1 ; 
And, so sweet in her adorning, 
Bends above Iny stream. 
Then her bosom, white as snow, 
Makes nlY chilly waters glow. 


YOUTH. 
If her beauty brings such gladness, 
Brooklet, unto thee, 
Marvel not if I to Dladness 
Should enfb.111ècl be. 
Oh, that I could hope to move her! 
Once to see her is to love her. 



POEMS OF ,GOETHE 


BROOK. 
Then careering - ah, so proudly! 
Rush I o'er the wheel, 
And the 
erry nlÍll speaks loudly 
All the joy I feel. 
Show me but the miller's daughter, 
And more swiftly flows my water. 


YOUTH. 


Nay, but, brooklet, tell me truly, 
Feelest thou no pain, 
When she smiles, and bids thee duly 
Go, nor turn again ? 
Hath that simple smile no cunning, 
Brook, to stay thee in thy running? 


BROOK. 
Hard it is to lose her shadow, 
Hard to pass away; 
Slowly, sadly, down the meadow, 
Uninspired I stray. , 
Oh, if I might have nlY \vill, 
Back to her I'd hasten still ! 


YOUTH. 
Brook! nlY love thou comprehendest; 
Fare thee well awhile; 
One day, when thou hither ,vendest, 
May'st thou see llle Rmile. 
Go, and in thy gentlest fashion, 
Tell that maiden all my passion! 



35 



13 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE l\1_\ID OF THE ::\IILL'S TREACHERY. 


[This ballad is introduced in the "'Vanderjabre," in a tale 
called H The _Foolish }>ilgrim."] 


'YHENCE conles our friend so hastily, 
'Vhen scarce the eastern sky is gray? 
Hath he just ceased, though cold it be, 
In yonder holy spot to pray? 
The brook appears to helD his path, 
Wauld he barefooted o'er it go ? 
vVhy curse his orisons in wrath, 
Across those heights bee lad \vith snow? 


Alas! his warm bed he hath left, 
Where he had looked for bliss, I ,veen; 
And if his cloak, too, had been reft, 
Ho\v fearful his disgrace had been! 
By yonder villain sorely pressed, 
His \vallet froln hinl had been torn; 
Our hapless friend has been undressed,- 
Left well-nigh naked as when born. 


The reason why he came this road, 
Is that he sought a pair of eyes, 
'Which, at the n1Ïll, as brightly glo\ved 
As those that are in l)aradise. 
He will not soon again be there. 
:From out the house hp. quickly hied, 
And when he gained the open air, 
Thus bitterly and loudly cried: 


"Within her gaze, so dazzling bright, 
No word of tea chery I could read; 
She seemed to see me \vith delight, 
Yet planned e'en then this cruel deed
 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


137 


Could I, when basking in her sn1ile, 
Dream of the treason in her breast? 
She bade kind Cupid stay awhile, 
And he was there to make us blest. 


"To taste of love's s\veet ecstasy 
Throughout the night that endless seemed, 
And for her mother's help to cry 
Only \vhen morning sunlight beamed! 
A dozen of her kith and kin, 
A very hUlllan flood, in-pressed, 
Her cousins came, her aunts peered in, 
And uncles, brothers, and the rest. 


"Then \-vhat a tUlllUlt, fierce and loud! 
Each seem ed a beast of prey to be; 
The n1aiden's honour all the cro\vd, 
\Vith fearful shout, delnand of me. 
Why should they, n1admen-like, begin 
To fall upon a guiltless youth? 
For he \-vho such a prize would -win, 
Far nimbler J;leeds must be, in truth. 


"The way to follo\v up with skill 
His freaks, by Love betimes is known 
He ne'er \vill leave, \vithin a nÜll, 
Sweet flo\vers for sixteen years alone.- 
They stole my clothes a way, - yes, all ! 
And tried n1Y cloak beside to steal. 
Ho\v strange that any house so snlall 
So many rascals could conceal [ 


"Then I sprang up, and raved, and swore, 
To force a passage through theln there. 
I saw the treacherous lllaid once ll10re, 
And she was still, alas, so fair! 



13 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


They all gave ,yay before IllY \\Tath, 
Wild outcries tie\v a10ut pell-luell ; 
At length I l11anaged to rush forth, 
With voice of th under, frolll that hell. 


"As nlaidens of the town ,ve fly, 
vVe'11 shun you llwidens of the village! 
Leave it to those of quality, 
Their humLle -worshippers to pillage! 
Yet if ye are of practised skill, 
And of all tender ties afraid, 
Exchange your lovers, if ye will, 
But never let them be betrayed." 


Thus sings he in the ,vinter night, 
'\Vhile not a blade of grass ,vas green. 
I laughed to see his piteous plight, 
F or it was -well deserved, I ween. 
And may this be the fate of all, 
'\Vho treat by day their true loves ill, 
And, ,vith foolhardy daring, cra,vl 
By night to Cupid's treacherous mill ! 


THE l\IAID OF THE l\IILL'S REPENTANCE. 


YOUTH. 
A 'YAY, thou swarthy ,vitch! Go forth 
Fronl out HI}' hou
e, I tell thee I 
Or else 1 needs Inust, in Iny ,-vrath, 
Expe I thee I 
What's this thou singest so falsely, forsooth, 
Of love and a nlaiden's silent truth? 
"Tho'll trust to such a story! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


139 


GYPSY. 
I sing of a maid's repented fears, 
And long and bitter yearning; 
Her levity changed to truth and tears 
All-burning. 
She dreads no more the threats of her mother, 
She dreads far less the blows of her brother, 
Than the dearly-loved one's hatred. 


YOUTH. 
Of selfishness sing, and treacherous lies, 
Of murder and thievish plunder! 
Such actions false ,vill cause nu surprise, 
Or wonder. 
When they share their booty, both clothes 
anù purse,- 
As bad as you gypsies, aud even worse, 
Such tales find ready credence. 


GYPSY. 
"Alas, alas! oh, what have I done? 
Can listening aught avail 111e? 
I hear him toward IllY roonl hasten on, 
To hail Ine. 
}ly heart beat high, to myself I said: 
'0 would that thou hadst never betrayed 
That night of love to thy lllother 1'" 


YOUTH. 
Alas! I foolishly ventured there, 
For the cheating silence lnisled Ine, 
Ah, sweetest! let me to thee repair,- 
N or dread me ! 
When suddenly rose a fearful din, 
Her Iliad relations caIne pouring in. 
My blood still boils in my body! 


. 



14 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


GYPSY. 
"Oh when will return an hour like this 1 
I pine in silent sadness; 
I've thrown away nlY only true bliss 
\Vith nladness. 
Alas, poor maid! Oh pity nlY youth! 
My brother was then full cruel in truth 
To treat the loved one so basely!" 


THE POET. 
The swarthy woman then ,vent inside, 
To the spring in the courtyard yonder; 
Her eyes fronl their stain she purified, 
And, - ,vonder ! - 
Her face aud eyes were radiant and bright, 
And the Inaid of the luill ,vas disclosed to the sight 
Of the startled and angry stripling. 


THE )IAID OF THE MILL. 
Thou sweetest, fairest, dearly-loved life! 
Before thine anger I co\ver ; 
But blo\ys I dread not, nor sharp-edged knife,- 
This hour 
Of sorrow and love tu thee I'll sing, 
And lllyself before thy feet I'll fling, 
And either live or <.lie there! 


YOUTH. 
Affection, say, why buried so deep 
In IllY heart hast thou lain hidden? 
By wholn hast thou no,v to awake from thy sleep 
Been bidden ? 
Ah, love, that thou art inlillortal I see 1 
Nor knavish cunning nor treachery 
Can destroy thy life so godlike, 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE MAID OF THE MILL. 
If still, with as fond and heartfelt love, 
As thou once ùidRt swear, rIll cherished, 
Then nought of the rapture we used to prove 
Is perished. 
So take the ,yonlan so ùear to thy breast! 
In her young anù innocent channs be blest, 
For all are thine fronl henceforward! 


BOTH. 
Now, SUll, sink to rest! No,v, nloon, arise! 
Ye stars, be now shining, now darkling! 
A star of love now gleams in the skies, 
All sparkling! 
As long as the fountain lllay spring and run, 
So long ,vill we t\VO be blended in one, 
Upon each other's bosonls! 


THE WALKING BELL. 


A CHILD refused to go betimes 
To church like other people; 
He roamed abroad, \vhen rang the chimes 
On Sundays fron... the steeple. 


His nlother said: "Loud rings the bell, 
Its voice ne'er think of scorning; 
Unless thou ,yilt behave thee well, 
'Twill fetch thee without warning." 


The child then thought: "High over head 
The bell is safe suspended' - " 
So to the fields he straightway sped 
As if 'twas school-time ended. 


14 1 



14 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


The bell now ceased as bell to ring, 
Roused by the nlother's twaddle; 
But soon ellsued a dreadful thing!- 
The bell begins to waddle. 


It waddles fast, though strange it seem; 
The child, with trembling ,vonder, 
Runs off, and flies, as in - a dream; 
The bell would draw him under. 


He finds the proper tiule at last, 
And straightway nirnbly rushes 
To church, to chapel, hastening fast 
Through pastures, plains, and bushes; 


Each Sunday and each feast as well, 
His late disaster heeds he; 
The moment that he hears the bell, 
No other summons needs he. 


POETS' art is ever able 
To endow ,vith truth mere fable. 


TIlE TRAVELLER AND THE FARl\I l\IAIDEN. 


HE. 
CANST thou give, 0 fair and D1atchless rnaiden, 
'Neath the shado\y of the lindens yonder,- 
'Vhere I'd fain one monlent cease to ,vander,- 
Food and drink to one so heavy laden 2 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


143 


SHE. 
W ouldst thou find refreshnlent, traveller weary, 
Bread, ripe fruit, and crean1, to lneet thy wishes, - 
N one but Nature's plain and homely dishes,- 
N ear the spring lllay soothe thy ,vanderings dreary. 


HE. 
Dreams of old acquaintance 110\V pass through 111e, 
N e'er-forgotten queen of hours of bli::;ses: 
Likenesses I've often found, but this is 
One that q uiLe a 111arvel seemeth to me 1 


SHE. 
Travellers often wonder beyond 111eaSUre, 
But their ,vonder soon see cause to slnother; 
Fair and dark are often like each other, 
Both inspire the mind \vith equal pleasure. 


HE. 
Not now for the first time I surrender 
To this fOrIll, in hunlble adoration; 
It was brightest Inidst the constellation 
In the hall adorned with festal splendour. 


SHE. 
Be thou joyful that 'tis in nlY power 
To complete thy strange and merry story I 
Silks behind her, full of purple glory, 
Floated, when thou sawest her in that hour. 


HE. 
No, in truth, thou hast not sung it rightly! 
Spirits lllay have told thee all about it ; 
Pearls and gems they spoke of, do not doubt it,- 
By her gaze eclipsed, - it glean1eu so brightly I 



144 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SHE. 
This one thing I certainly collected: 
That the fair one - (say nought, I entreat thee I) 
:Fonùly hoping once again to llleet thee, 
l\fan y a castle in the air erected. 


HE. 
By each \vind I ceaselessly \vas driven, 
Seeking gold and honour, too, to capture. 
When IllY \vand'rings end, then oh, what rapture, 
If to find that forlll again 'tis given! 


SHE. 
'Tis the daughter of the race no\v banished 
That thou seest, not her likeness only, 
Helen and her brother, glad though lonely, 
Till this farm of their estate no\v vanished. 


HE. 
But the owner surely is not \vanting 
Of these plains, with ev'ry beauty teenling? 
Verdant fields, broad 11leads, and pastures glean1Ïng, 
Gushing springs, all heavenly and enchanting. 


SHE. 
Thou must hunt the world through, \vouldst thou find 
hÎIn!- 
We have wealth enough in our possession, 
And intend to purchase the succession, 
When the good Inan leaves the world behind hÏ1n. 


HE. 
I have learnt the o\\"ner's o\vn condition, 
And, fair luaiden, thou indeed canst buy it ; 
But the cost is great, I \von't deny it,- 
Helen is the price, - with thy permission! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


145 


SHE. 
Did then fate and rank keep us asunder, 
And nlust Love take this road, and no other? 
Yonder conles lIlY dear and trusty brother! 
What will he say to it all, I wonder? 


TURN to good account thy day; 
Wilt aught lay hold on? Go not far away. 


THE PAGE AND THE 
1:rLLER'S DAUGHTER. 


PAGE. 
WHERE goest thou? Where? 
Miller's daughter so fair! 
Thy nanle, pray?- 


MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 
'Tis Lizzy. 


PAGE. 
Where goest thou? Where? 
With the rake in thy hand? 


MILLER'S D A UG HTERo 
Father's meado\vs and land 
To visit.. I'm busy. 


PAGE. 
Dost go there alone 1 



14 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 
By this rake, sir, 'tis sho\vn 
That we're ll1aking the hay; 
And the pears ripen fast 
In the garden at last, 
So I'll pick them to-day. 


P AG E. 
. Is't a silent thicket I yonder view? 


MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 
Oh, yes! there are t\VO ; 
There's one on each side. 


P AGE. 
I'll follow thee soon; 
'Vhen the sun burns at noon, 
We'll go there, ourselves frorn his rays to hide, 
And then in some glade all-verdant and deep- 


MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 
Why, people would say- 


PAGE. 
Within Inine arms thou gently wilt sleep. 


MILLER'S DAUGHTER. 
Your pardon, I pray! 
Whoever is kissed by the nliller-maid, 
Upon the spot must needs be betrayed. 
'T\vould give me distress 
To cover \vith white 
Your pretty dark dress. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


147 


Equal with equall then all is right! 
That's the motto in which I delight. 
I arn in love \vith the miller-Loy ; 
He wears nothing that I could destroy. 


FAITHFUL ECICART. 


"OR, would we were further! Oh, would we were 
home, 
The phantoms of night tow'rd us hastily corne, 
The band of the Sorceress sisters. 
They hithel'ward speed, and on finding us here, 
They'll drink, though with toil \ve have fetched it, the 
beer, 
And leave us the pitchers all ernpty." 


Thus speaking, the children \vith fear take to flight, 
When sudden an old luan appears in their sight; 
" Be quiet, child! children, be quiet! 
Fronl hunting they come, and their thirst they would 
still, 
So leave thenl to swallow as much as they will, 
And the Evil Ones then \vill be gracious." 


As said, so 'twas done! and the phantoms draw near, 
And shado\v1ike seenl they, and gray they appear, 
Yet blithely they sip and they revel: 
The beer has all vanished, the pitchers are void; 
With cries and \vith shouts the \vilc1 hunters, o'erjoyed, 
Speed on\vard o'er vale and o'er mountain. 


The children in terror fly nimbly toward home, 
And with them the kind one is careful to come: 
"
ly darlings, oh, be not so rnournful ! " - 



14 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


"They'll blame us and beat us until we are dead." - 
" No, no! ye ,vill find that all goes \vell," he said; 
" Be silent as n1Ïce, then, and listen! 


"And he by ,vhuse counsels thus \visely ye're taught, 
Is he who ,vith children loves ever to sport, 
The trusty and faithful old Eckart. 
Ye have heard of the \vonder for lllany a day, 
But ne'er had a prouf of the Inarvellous lay, - 
Your hands hold a )!l'ouf 11lO:st convincing." 


They arrive at their hOlne, and their pitchers they 
place 
By the side of their parents, ,vith fear on their face, 
A waiting a beating and scolding. 
But see what they're tasting: the choicest of beer! 
Though three tÜnes and four tÜnes they y,uaff the 
good cheer, 
The pitchers rernain still unemptied. 


The marvel it lasts till the da,vnipg of day; 
All people \vho hear of it doubtless will say: 
" '\Vhat happened at length to the pitchers? " 
In secret the children they sulile, as they \\
ait; 
At last, though, they staullller, anù stutter, and prate, 
And straightway the pitchers ,vere elnpty. 


And if, children, ,vith kindness addressed ye Inay be, 
Whether father, or Inaster, or alderlüan he, 
Obey hÜn, and follow his bidding! 
And if 'tis unpleasant to bridle the tongue, 
Yet talking is bad, silence good for the young- 
And then ,vB1 the beer fill your )!itchers 1 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


149 


THE DANCE OF THE DEAD. 


THE warder he gazes at dead 0' the night 
On the graveyards under bim lying, 
The nloon into clearness thro\vs all by her light, 
The night with the day light is vying. 
There's a stir in the graves, and forth frOln their tombs 
The form of a man, then a WOlnan next looms 
In garnlents long trailing and sno\vy. 


They stretch thenJselves out, and \vith eager delight 
Join the bones for the revel and dancing,- 
Young and old, rich and poor, the lady and knight, 
Their trains are a hinderance to dancing. 
And since here by shame they uo longer are bound, 
They shuffle them off, and 10, stre,vn lie around 
Their garments on each little hillock. 


Here rises a shank, and a leg wobbles there 
With le\vd diabolical gesture; 
And clatter and rattle of bones you might hear, 
As of one beating sticks to a nleasure. 
This seems to the warder a laughable galne: 
Then the tempter, low \vhispering, up to him came: 
"In one of their shrouds go and "Tap thee." 


'Twas done soon as said ; the
 he gained in wild flight 
Concealment behind the church portal, 
The moon all the while throws her bright beams of 
light 
On the dance \vhere they revel and sport all. 
First one, then another, dispersed all are they, 
And donning their shrouds steal the spectres away, 
And under the graves all is quiet. 



15 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


But one of thenl stu111bles and fumbles along, 
':\Iidst the tOlnbstones groping intently; 
But none of his comrades have done him this wrong, 
His shroud in the breeze 'gins to scent he. 
He rattles the door of the tower, Lut can find 
No entrance, - good luck to the ,varder behind! - 
'Tis barred ,vith blest crosses of llletal. 


His shroud he nlust have, or rest can he ne'er; 
..,:\.nd so, \vithout further prealuhlèH, 
The old Gothic carving he grips then and there, 
.Froln turret to pinnacle scranlbles. 
Alas for the warder! all's over, I fear; 
From buttress to buttress in dev'lish career 
He climbs like a long-legged spider. 


The ,varder he trenl bles, and pale doth he look, 
That shroud. he would gladly Le giving, 
'Vhen piercing transfixed it a sharp-pointed hook! 
He thought his last hour he \vas living. 
Clouds cover already the vanishing llloon, 
With thunderous clang beats the clock a loud One- 
Below lies the skeleton, shattered. 


EF:FECT AT A DISTANCE. 


THE Queen she stands in her castle's proud hall, 
'Vhere all brightly the tapers flame; 
" N O\V hie thee, sir page" (he canle at her call), 
" And fetch llle Iny purse for the game; 
It lies close at hand 
On a marble stand." 
To the palace end quickly away 
Sped the page without further delay. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


15 1 


By chance, near the Queen her sherbet did sip 
A lady, the fairest of all ; 
In shivers the cup fell dashed from her lip,- 
Ah me, what a terrible fall! 
Such carelessness! drest 
I n her gala vest! 
Sped the lady ,vithout more delay 
To the palace end quickly away. 


The page as back on his errand he fle,v, 
In trouble the fair 'laùy lllet ; 
Both page and laùy, though none of them knew, 
Their hearts on each other had set. 
a joy anù delight! 
o fortunate plight! 
IIo,v they fell upon each other's breast! 
How they kissed and enlbraced and caressed; 


N ow severed at last and parted are they! 
To her roonl the fair lady ran, 
Back to the Queeu sped the page on his way, 
Past many a dagger and fan. 
His vest by the Queen 
All spotted was seen; 
From her eyes there was nothing to hide, 
With the famed Queen of Sheba she vied. 


The palace duenna she called aside: 
"You said in our late wordy war,- 
And arguments stout and stiff you applied,- 
That spirit acts not from afar; 
In presence alone 
Its traces are shown, 
But nothing can ,york from afar,- 
No. not even a heavenly star, 



15 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" Now look! TIut just no\v ,vhere standing we are, 
,,,... as scaLtered a s\veet beverage, 
And at the sanle instant, though distant and far, 
It spotted the vest of the page.- 
Go, get ne\vly clad, 
l\Iy heart is nlade glad; 
l\fy argullwnt thus for upholding 
I'll pay, and so save you a scolding." 


THE BRIDE OF CORINTH. 


[First published in Schiller's Iloren, ill connection with a 
friendly contest in the art of ballad-writing between the two 
great poets, to which many of their finest works are owing.] 


1. 
A YOUTH to Corinth, \vhilst the city slunlbered, 
CaIne froln Athens: though a strallger there, 
Soon aillong its townsnlen to be nUlubered, 
:For a lJl'ide awaits hinl, young and fair. 
FroBl their childhooù's years 
They were plighted feres, 
So contracted by their parents' care. 


II. 
But may not his welcome there he hindered 1 
Dearly Inust he buy it, ,vould he speed. 
He is still a heathen with his kindred, 
She and hers washed in the Christian creed. 
When new faiths are born, 
Love and troth are torn 
Rudely from the heart, howe'er it bleed. 


III. 
All the house is hushed; - to rest retreated 
Father, daughters - not the inother quite; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


153 


She the guest with cordial ,velcolne greeted, 
Led him to a roonl with tapers bright; 
Wine and food she brought, 
Ere of them he thought, 
Then departed with a fair good-night. 


IV. 
But he felt no hunger, and unheeded 
Left the wine, and eager for the rest 
\Vhich his linlbs, forspent ,vith travel, needed, 
On the couch he laid him, still unl1ressed. 
There he sleeps - when 10 1 
On,vards gliding slow, 
At the ùoor appears a wondrous guest. 


V. 
By the ,vaning laulp's uncertain glealning 
There he sees a youthful maiden stand, 
RoLed in white, of still and gentle seen1Ìng, 
On her bro,v a black and golden band. 
'Vhen she meets his eyes, 
\Vith a quick surprise 
Starting, she uplifts a pallid hand. 


VI. 
ce Is a stranger here, and nothing told me ? 
Aill I then forgotten even in name? 
Ab! 'tis thus within my cell they bold me, 
And I nowanl covered o'er with shame! 
Pillow still thy head 
There upon thy bed, 
I will leave thee quickly as I came." 


VII. 
" Maiden - darling I Stay, 0 stay!" and, leaping 
From the couch before her stands the boy: 



154 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


"Ceres - Bacchus, here their gifts are heaping, 
And thou brillgest Amor's gentle joy! 
Why with terror pale? 
S\veet one, let us hail 
These bright gods their festive gifts employ." 


VIII. 
" Oh, no - no ! Young stranger, conle not nigh me; 
Joy is not for n1e, nor festive cheer. 
Ah! such Lliss may ne'er be tasted by me, 
Since IllY lllother, in fantastic fear, 
By long sickness bowed, 
To heaven's service vowed 
1\1e, and all the hopes that warmed me here, 


IX. 
" They have left our hearth, and left it lonely,- 
The old gods, that bright and jocund train. 
One, unseen, in heaven, is worshipped only, 
Aud upon the cross a Saviour slain; 
Sacrifice is here, 
Not of lalnb nor steer, 
But of human \voe and human pain." 


X. 
And he asks, and all her words doth ponder,- 
" Can it be that in this silent spot, 
I beholù thee, thou surpassing \vonder ! 
1\fy sweet bride, so strangely to HIe brought? 
Be n1Ìne only no\v- 
See, our parents' vow 
Heaven's good blessing hath for us besought." 


XI. 
" No! thou gentle heart," she cried in anguish; 
" 'Tis not 111i ne, but 'tis my sister's place; _ 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


155 


When in lonely cell I weep and languish,. 
Think, oh, think of me in her en1 brace! 
I think but of thee- 
Pi ning drearily, 
Soon beneath the earth to hide lllY face!" 


XII. 
"Nay! I swear by yonder flanle which burneth, 
Fanned by Hymen, lost thou shalt not be; 
Droop not thus, for nlY sweet hride returneth 
To my father's rnansion back ,vith me! 
])earest, tarry here! 
Taste the bridal cheer, 
For our spousal spread so wondrously!" 


XIII. 
Then with word and sigh their troth they plighted, 
Golden was the chain she bade hin1 wear, 
But the cup he offered her she slighted, 
Silver, wrought ,vith cunning past compare. 
" That is not for me; 
All I ask of thee 
Is one little ringlet of thy hair!" 


XIV. 
Dully boomed the midnight hour unhallowed, 
And then first her eyes began to shine; 
Eagerly ,vith pallid lips she swallowed 
Hasty draughts of purple-tinctured wine; 
But the wheaten bread, 
As in shuddering dread, 
Put she always ?y with loathing sign, 


XV. 
And she gave the youth the cup: he drained it, 
With impetuous haste he drained it dry; 



15 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Love 'was in his fevered heart, and pained it, 
Till it ached for joy she lnust deny. 
But the lllaiden's fears 
Stayed hinl, till in tears 
On the bed he sank, -with sobbing cry. 


XVI. 
And she leans above hin1 - " Dear one, still thee! 
Ah, ho\v sad all1 I to see thee so ! 
But, alas 1 these lirnbs of lnine \vould chill thee: 
Love! they lllantle not \vith passion's glow; 
Thou \vouldst })e afraid, 
Didst thou find the maid 
Thou hast chosen, cold as ice or snow." 


XYII. 
Round her ",-aist his eager arlTIS he bended, 
'\Vith the strength that youth and love inspire; 
" Wert thou even fron1 the grave ascGnded, 
I could \vann thee \vell with DIY desire!" 
Panting kiss on kiss! 
Overflo\v of bliss! 
" Burn'st thou not, and feelest me on fire?" 


X YIII. 
Closer yet they cling, and intenningling, 
Tears and broken sobs proclaÜn the rest; 
His hot hreath through all her fraIlle is tingling, 
There they lie, caressing and caressed. 
Iris impassioned nlood 
WanTIs her torpid blood, 
Yet there beats no heart within her breast! 


XIX. 
l\lean\vhile goes the 1110ther, softly creeping 
Through the house, on needful cares intent, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


157 


Hears a murmur, and, ,vhile all are sleeping, 
Wonders at the sounds, and what they nleant. 
Who ,vas whispering so? - 
V oices soft and lo\v, 
In nlysterious converse strangely blent. 


xx. 
Straightway by the door herself she-stations, 
There to be assureù what was anlÍss; 
And she hears love's fiery protestations, 
Words of ardour and endearing bliss: 
" Hark, the cock! 'Tis light! 
But to-nlOITOW night 
Thou ,yilt COlne again?" and kiss 011 kiss. 


XXI. 
Quick the latch she raises, and, with features 
Anger-flushed, into the chanl bel' hies. 
" .ATe there in Iny house such shameless creatures, 
l\finions to the stranger's will?" she crie
. 
By the dying light, 
Who is't meets her sight? 
God! 'tis her own daughter she espies! 


XXII. 
And the youth in terror sought to cover, 
With her own light veil, the lllaiden's head, 
Clasped her close; but, gliding from her lover, 
Back the vestment from her brow she spread, 
And her form upright, 
As with ghostly might, 
Long and slowly rises fronl the bed. 


XXIII. 
" Mother! mother! wherefore thus deprive me 
Of such joy as I this night have known? 



15 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Wherefore from these warm em braces drive me 1 
Was I wakened up to meet thy frown 1 
Did it not suffice 
That in virgin guise, 
To an early grave you forced me down 1 


XXIV. 
"Fearful is the weird that forced me hither, 
FrOin the dark-heaped chalnber -where I lay; 
Powerless are your dro\vsy antheuls, neither 
Can your priests prevail, howe'er they pray, 
Salt nor lynlph can cool, 
"\Vhere tbe pulse is full; 
Love nlust still burn on, though \vrapped in clay. 


XXV. 
" To this youth my early troth was plighted, 
'Vhilst yet VellUS ruled ,vithill the land; 
l\fother [ and that vo,v ye falsely slighted, 
At your new and gloolny faith's cUlllInand. 
But no god ,,,,ill hear, ., 
If a nlother swear 
Pure from love to keep her daughter's hand. 


XXVI. 
"Nightly from my narrow chamber driven, 
Conle I to fulfil Iny destined part, 
HÜn to seek to 'VhOIll nlY troth was given, 
And to dra\v the life-blood frOITI his heart. 
He hath served my will; 
More I yet In ust kill, 
For another prey I now depart. 


XXVII. 
"Fair young man I thy thread of life is broken, 
Human skill can bring DO aid to thee. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


There thou hast my chain - a ghastly token- 
And this lock of thine I take with me. 
Soon -lllust thou decay, 
Soon thou ,vilt be gray, 
Dark although to-night thy tresses be! 


XXVIII. 
"Mother! hear, oh, hear my last entreaty! 
Let the funeral-pile arise once more; 
Open up my 'wretched tOlub for pity, 
And in flalnes our souls to peace restore. 
When the ashes glow, 
When the fire-sparks flow, 
To the ancient gods aloft we soar." 


THE PUPIL IN l\IAGIC. 


I AM now, - what joy to hear it ! - 
Of the old rnagician rid; 
And henceforth shall every spirit 
Do \v hate' er by me is bid; 
I have watched with rigour 
All he used to do, 
And ,viII now with vigour 
Work my wonders too. 


Wander, wander 
Onward lightly, 
So that rightly 
Flo\v the torrent, 
And with teeming waters yonder 
In the bath discharge its current! 


And now come, thou \veIl-worn broom, 
And thy wretched form bestir; 


. 


159 



160 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thou hast ever served as groom, 
So fulfillny pleasure, sir! 
On two legs no,v stand, 
'Vith a head on top; 
vVaterpail in hand, 
Haste, and do not stop! 


Wander, ,vander 
On ward ligh tl y, 
So that rightly 
Flo,v the torrent, 
And with teeming waters yonder 
In the bath discharge its current! 


See! he's running to the shore, 
And has no,v attained the pool, 
And with lightning speed once more 
Comes here with his bu cket full ! 
Back he then repairs; 
See ho\v swells the tide! 
How each pail he bears 
Straightway is supplied! 
Stop, for, 10 ! 
All the Ineasure 
Of thy treasure 
N o'v is right! - 
Ah, I see it! \voe, oh, woe! 
I forget the word of Inight. 


Ah, the \vord whose sound can straight 
l\.lake hinl ,vhat he ,vas before! 
Ah, he runs with ninlble gait! 
Would thou wert a broom once more! 
Streams renewed for ever 
Quickly bringeth he; 
River after river 
Rusheth on poor me. 



I POEMS OF GOETHE 


N ow no longer 
Can I bear him ; 
I will snare him, 
Kna vish sprite! 
Ah, n1Y terror waxes stronger ! 
What a look! ,vhat fearful sight! 


Oh, thou villain child of hell ! 
Shall the house through thee be dro,yned ? 
:Floods I see that \vilcUy Fnvell, 
O'er the threshold gaining ground. 
Wilt thou not obey, 
Oh, thou broon1 accurseù ? 
Be thou still, I pray, 
As thou wert at first ! 


Will enough 
N ever please thee? 
I will seize thee, 
Hold thee fast, 
And thy nÜnble wood so tough, 
With my sharp axe split at last. 
See, once more he hastens back! 
Now, oh, Cobolù, thou shalt catch it! 
I will rush upon his track; 
Crashing on hÜn falls lny hatéhet. 
Bravely done, indeed! 
See, he's cleft in twain! 
N ow from care I'm freed, 
And can breathe again. 


Woe, oh, woe! 
Both the parts, 
Quick as darts, 
Stand on end, 
Servants of Iny dreaded foe! 
Oh, ye gods, protection seud! 


161 



162 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And they run! alid ,vetter still 
Gro,v the steps and grows the hall. 
Lord and Illaster, hear nle call ! 
Ever seenlS the flood to fill, 
Ah, he's con1Ïng! see, 
Great is nlY dismay! 
Spirits raised by me 
Vainly ,voulù I lay! 


"To the side 
Of the roon1 
Hasten, broom, 
As of old ! 
Spirits I have ne'er untied 
Save to act as th ey are told." 


BEFORE A COURT O:F JUSTICE. 


THE father's name ye ne'er shaH be told 
Of 111 Y darling un born life; 
"Shame, shan1e," ye cry, " on the strulnpet bold! ;, 
Yet I an1 an honest wife. 


To whonl I'n1 wedded, ye ne'er shall be told, 
Yet he's both loving and fair; 
He wears 011 his neck a chain of gold, 
And a hat of straw doth he wear. 


If scorn 'tis vain to seek to repel, 
On nle let the scorn be thrown. 
I know him well, and he knows me well, 
And to God, too, all is known. 


Sir Parson and Sir Bailiff, again, 
I pray you, leave n1e in peace! 
My child it is, my child 'twill remain, 
So let your q uestionings cease! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


16 3 


THE GOD AND THE BAY ADERE. 


AN INDIAN LEGEXD. 


[This very fine ballad was also first given in the Horen.] 


MAHADEV A,l I..ol'd of earth, 
For the sixth titne COlnes below, 
As a luan of n1ol'tal birth,- 
Like hiln, feeling joy and ,voe. 
Hither loves he to repair, 
.And his po,ver behind to leave; 
If to punish or to spare, 
l\fen as luan he'd fain perceive. 
And ,vhen he the town as a traveller hath seen 
Observing the n1ighty, regarding the mean, 
He quits it, to go on his journey, at eve. 


He was leaving no,v the place, 
When an outcast lnet his eyes,- 
Fair in fornl, ,vith painted face,- 
Where S0111e straggling d 'wellings rise, 
" Maiden, hail!" - " Thanks! ,velcome here! 
Stay! - I'll join thee in the road." - 
"Who art thou?" -" A Bayadere, 
And this house is love's abode." 
The cymbal she hastens to play for the dance, 
Well skilled in its nlazes the sight to entrance, 
Then by her with grace is the nosegay bestowed, 


Then she draws him, as in play, 
O'er the threshold eagerly: 
"Beauteous stranger, light as day, 
Thou _ shalt soon this cottage see. 


1 One of the numerous names of Seeva the destroyer, - the 
great god of the BrahUlin
. 



16 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I'll refresh thee, if thou'rt tired, 
And \vill bathe thy weary feet; 
Take whate'er by thee's desired, 
Toying, rest, or rapture sweet."- 
She busily seeks his feigned suff'rings to ease; 
Then smiles the IUllllortal; with pleasure he sees 
That with kindness a heart so corrupted can beat. 


And he n1akes her act the part 
Of a slave; he's straight obeyed, 
vVhat at first had been but art, 
Soon is nature in the Inaid. 
Ry degrees the fruit ,ve find, 
Where the buds at first obtain; 
'Vhen obedience fills the n1Ïlld, 
I.ove ,viII never far reluain. 
11ut Rharper and sharper the 11laiden to prove, 
The Discerner of all things below 
nd above, 
Feigns pleasure, and horror, and Inaddening paine 


And her painted cheeks he kisses, 
Anù his vows her heart enthral; 
Feeling love's sharp pangs alHl blisses 
RouB her tears begin tu fall. 
...1t his feet she now BlUSt. 6illk, 
X ut with thoughts ot lu
t or gain, _ 
. \..ud her slender llH:nnbers shrink 
..A..lHl devoiù of po,ver relnain. 
l\U<1 su the bright hours \vith glaùness prepare 
Their dark, pleasing veil of a texture so fair, 
. _And over the couch softly, tranquilly reign. 


Late she falls asleep, thUR bleRsed,- 
Early \vakes, her sluInbers fled, 
..A_D(1 Rhe finds the llluch-loved guest 
o II her bOS0111 lying dead. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


16 5 


Screallling falls she OIl hÜn there, 
But, alas, t_uu late tu save! 
And his rigid IÏ111bs they bear 
Straightvvay to their fiery grave, 
Then hears she the priests and the funeral song, 
Then lnadly 
he runs, and she severs the throng: 
" Why press tu\v'nl the pile thus? 'Vhy screaUl tInts 
and rave?" 


Then she sinks beside his bier, 
And her screalllS through air resound: 
" I llHlst seek my lSl?ouse so dl
ar, 
E'en if in the grave he's Lounù. 
Shall those linlbs of grace ùivine 
Fall to ashes in lilY sight? 
Mine he was ! Yes, only lnine ! 
Ah, one single blissful night!" 
The priests chant in chorus: "We bear out the old, 
\Vhen long they've been weary, and late they've grO'\ìl 
cold . 
, 
\Ve bear out the YO
lng, tou, so thoughtless and light. 


" To thy priests' command giye ear! 
This one ,vas thy husband ne'er; 
Live still as a Bayadere, 
And no duty thou need'st share. 
To death's silent reallns frolll life, 
None but shades attend ulan's frame, 
With the husband, none but \vife, - 
That is duty, that is faine. 
Ye trulllpets, your sacred lanlent haste to raise! 
Oh, welcome, ye gods, the bright lustre of days! 
Oh, welconle to heaven the youth from the fialne! " 


Thus increased her torlnents are 
By the cruel, heartless choir; 



166 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And \vith arnlS outstretching far 
Leaps she on the glowing pyre. 
But the youth divine outsprings 
FraIn the fhulle ,vith heav'nly grace, 
And on high his flight he \vings, 
\Vhile hi::; anllS his love enl brace. 
In the sinner repentant the (Jodhead feels joy; 
Iunnortals delight thus their Iuight to eluploy 
Lost children to raise to a heavenly vlace. 


TIrE I) .i'\RIAH. 


I. THE l'ARIAH'S PRAYER. 


DREADED Bralna, lord of Inight! 
All proceed frOln thee alone; 
Thou art he \vllo judgeth right! 
IJu:-;t thou none but Hralnnins own? 
Dù Lut Hajahs CaIne froIll thee? 
N one but those of high e:-;tate? 
DidHt not thou the ape èl'cate, 
,Ay, and eveu Ruch as \ve? 


We are llOt of noble killd, 
For with ,voe our lot is rife; 
And what uthers deadly find 
Is our only source of life. 
Let this be enough for TIlen, 
IJßt theIn, if they \vill, despise us; 
But thou, Rranla, thou shouldst prize us, 
All are equal in thy ken. 


Now that, Lord, this prayer is said, 
As thy child acknowledge' n1e; 
Or let one be born instead, 
Who nlay link me on to thee! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


16 7 


Didst not thou a Bayadere 
As a goddess hea velliVard raise? 
..,A..nd we, too, to swell thy praise, 
Such a miracle would hear. 


II. LEGEND. 


[The successful manner in which Goethe employs the simple 
rbymeless, trochaic metre in this and in many other poems will 
perhaps be remarked by the reader.] 


WATER - FETCHIKG goes the noble 
Brahmin's wife, so pure and lovely; 
He is honoured, void of blemish, 
And of justice rigid, stern. 
Daily froul the sacred river 
Brings she back refreshnlent precious,- 
But where is the pail and pitcher? 
She of neither stands in need. 
For with pure heart, hands unsullied, 
She the water lifts, and rolls it 
To a wondrous ball of crystal; 
This she bears with gladsome bosom, 
Modestly, with graceful motion, 
To her husband in the house. 
She to-day at dawn of morning 
Praying comes to Ganges' waters, 
Bends her o'er the glassy surface- 
Sudden, in the waves reflected, 
Flying swiftly far above her, 
From the highest heavens descending, 
She discerns the beauteous forIn 
Of a youth divine, created 
By the God's prÏ1neval wisdom 
In his own eternal breast. 
When she sees hiIn, straightway feels she 
Wondrous, new, confused sensations 



168 


POE,V1S OF GOETHE 


I n her illlllost, deepest Leillg; 
Faill 
he'd linger o
r the vision, 
Then repels it, - it returneth,- 
And, lJel'plexed, she Lends her tlood-wards 
"\Vith uncertain hallds to dra\v it; 
Rut, alas, she dra\vs no I110re ! 
For the water's sa
red billows 
Seern to tly, to hasten froln her; 
She but sees the fearful chasIn 
Of a 'whirlpool black disclosed. 


Arms drop down, and footsteps stumble, 
Can this be the patlnvay homewards? 
Shall she fly, or shall she tarry? 
Can she think, when thought and counsel, 
When assistance, all are lost? 
So before her spouse appears she- 
On her looks he - look is judgrnent- 
Proudly on the s\vord he seizes, 
To the hill of death he drags her, 
Where delinquents' blood pays forfeit. 
"\Vhat resistance could she offer? 
'Vhat excuses could she proffer, 
Guilty, knowing not her guilt? 


And \vith bloody sword returns he, 
l\lusing, to his silent d\velling, 
vVhen his son 1 >efore hinl stands: 
" '\Vhose this IJlood? Oh, father! father'" 
" The delinquent \V0I11an's!" -" Never! 
For upon the sword it dries not, 
Like the blood of the delinquent; 
Fresh it flo\vs, as frorn the wound. 
J\fother! nlother! hither hasten; 
Unjust never ,vas my father, 
Tell rue what he n()\v hath done."- 
" Silence; silence! hers the blood is ! n 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


"\Vhose, my father? " - " Silence; Silence!" 
'
 What! oh, what! lllY nlother's blood I 
What her crinle ? '\Vhat did she? 
-\..ns\ver I 
N ow, the sword; the sword now hold I! 
Thou thy \vife perchance n1ight'st slaughter, 
But lny mother rnight'st not slay I 
Through the flaInes the wife is able 
Her belovèd spouse to follow, 
And his dear and only mother 
Through the sword her faithful son." 
" Stay! oh, stay!" exclaÍIned the father: 
" Yet 'tis time, so hasten, hasten! 
Join the head upon the body, 
With the sword then touch the figure, 
And
 alive, she'll follow thee." 


Hastening, he, \vith breathless \vonder, 
Sees the bodies of two WOlnen 
Lying crosswise; and their heads, too; 
Oh, \vhat horror! which to choose! 
Then his mother's head he seizes,- 
Does not kiss it, deadly pale 'tis,- 
On the nearest headless body 
Puts it quickly, and then blesses 
With the sword the pious work. 
Then a giant form uprises.- 
Fronl the dear lips of his mother, 
J..Jips all godlike - changeless - blissful, 
Sound these \vorch, \vith horror fraught: 
" Son, oh, son! what overhastenillg! 
Yonder is thy lllother's body, 
Near it lies the impious head 
Of the woman \vho hath fallen 
Victim to the juclgnlent-sword! 
To her body I am grafted 
By thy hand for endless ages; 
Wise in counsel, \vild in action, 


16 9 



17 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I shall be a1l10ngst the gods. 
E'en the heavenly boy's O\Vll Ünage, 
Though in brow and eye so lovely, 
Sinking down wards to the bosom 
Mad and raging lust \vill stir. 


"'Twill return again for ever, 
Ever rising, ever sinking, 
Now obscured, and no\v transfigured" 
So great Bralna hath ordained. 
He 't\vas sent the beauteous phlions, 
Radiant face, and slender 111e1nLers 
Of the only God-begotten, 
That I rnight be proved and ten1pted; 
For from high descends ten1ptation, 
When the gods ordain it so. 
And so I, the BrahnlÏn \V01nan, 
\Vith n1Y head in Heaven reclining, 
1lust experience, as a Pariah, 
. The debasing power of earth. 


" Son, I send thee to thy father! 
Comfort him! Let no sad penance, 
\Veak delay, or thought of 1nerit, 
Hold thee in the desert fast; 
\Vander on through ev'ry nation, 
Roam abroad throughout all ages, 
And proclaim to e'en the meanest, 
That great Bran1a hears his cry! 


" None is in his eyes th e meanest- 
He \vhose lint bs are laine and palsied, 
He whose soul is wildly riven, 
vVorn \vith sorro\v, hopeless, helpless, 
Be he 13rahnlin, he he Pariah, 
If tow'rd heaven he turns his gaze, 


.. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Will perceive, ,villlearll to know it : 
Thousand eyes are glowing yonder, 
Thousand ears are calmly list'ning , 
From which nought below is hid. 


"If I to his throne soar up\vard, 
If he sees nlY fearful figure, 
By his Inight transfornled to horror
 
He for ever win larnent it,- 
May it to your good be found! 
And I now win kindly ,varn him, 
And I no\v ,vill Il1adly tell hÍIn 
Whatsoe'er IllY nlind conceiveth, 
What ,vit.hin IllY bOS0111 heaveth. 
But Iny thoughts, nlY inmost feelings- 
Those a secret shall remain." 


III. THE PARIAH'S THANKS. 


MIGHTY Brama, no\y I'll bless thee! 
'Tis froln thee that worlds proceed! 
As nlY ruler I confess thee, 
For of all thou takest heed. 


All thy thousand ears thou keepest 
Open to each child of earth; 
We, 'nlongst nlortals sunk the deepest, 
Have fronl thee received new birth. 


Bear in mind the wonlan's story, 
Who, through grief, divine became; 
N ow I'll wait to view His glory, 
Who omnipotence can claim. 


17 1 



17 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


DEATH LAl\IE
T OF THE KOBLE WIJ1"E OF 
ASAN AGA. 


[This beautiful poem, purporting to be a translation from tbe 
Morlachiall, was first printed in Herder's admirable collection of 
ballads, traus!ated into German from almost every European lan- 
guage, alld published uwler the title of V olkslieder. The fine 
poetic instinct of Goethe was signally displayed ÌJi t.his clHllposi- 
tion ; for al though, as 
\[ickiew icz has (J bserveù (" I--es 
laves, " tome 
i. p. 3:2:3, Paris, l
-!H), he had to ùivine the import of the poem 
across three bad 'translations, and was at the same time ignorant 
of the 
lavic language, he produced a perfect versioll, having in- 
stiuctively detected and avoided the faults of the previous trans- 
lators. ] 


WHAT is yon so \vhite beside the green,vood ? 
Is it sno,v, or flight of cygnets restiug ? 
vVere it sno,v, ere now it had been nlelted; 
'\Vere it s\vans, ere now the flock had left us. 
Neither sno\v uor swans are resting yonder, 
'Tis the glittering tents of Asan Aga. 
Faint he lies fron1 wounds in stornlY battle; 
There his lnother and his sisters seek him, 
But his wife hangs back for shalue, and conles not. 


When the anguish of his hurts was over, 
To his faithful ,vife he sent this nlessage - 
"Longer 'neath my roof thou shalt not tarry, 
Neither in my court nor in nlY household." 


When the lady heard that cruel sentence, 
'Reft of sense she stood, and racked with anguish j 
In the court she heard the horses stalnping, 
And in fear that it was Asan corning, 
Fled towards the tower, to leap and perish. 


Then in terror ran her little daughters, 
Calling after her, and weeping sorely, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


173 


cc These are not the steeds of Father Asan; 
'Tis our uncle Pintorovich coming! " 


And the \vife of Asan turned to m
et him; 
Sobbing, threw her arms around her brother. 
" See the \Vroligs, 0 brother, of thy sister! 
These five babes I bore and nlust I leave them?" 


Silently the brother, fronl hiR girdle, 
l)ra\vs the ready deed of separation, 
vV rapped \vithin a crÍlnRon silken cover. 
She is free to seek her mother's d\velling- 
Free to join in \vedlock \vith another. 


When the ",-oefullady sa\v the 'writing, 
Kissed she hoth her boys upon the forehead, 
Kissed on both the cheeks her r-:obbing daughters; 
But she cannot tear herself for pity 
From 
he infant sruiling in the cradle 1 


Rudely did her brother tear her from it, 
Deftl y lifted he r upon a courser, 
And in haste towards his father's dwelling, 
Spurred he onward \vith the woeful lady. 


Short the space; seven days, but barely seven- 
Little space I ween - by nlany nobles 
Was the lady - still in \veeds of mourning- 
V\T aR the lady courted ill espousal. 


Far the noblest was IUloski's cadi; 
And the dame in tears besought her brother- 
" I adjure thee, 1)y the life thou be
U'est, 
Give nle not a second tinle in lüarriage, 
That nlY heart may not be rent asunder 
If again I see lilY darling children!" 



174 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Little reeked the brother of her bidding, 
Fixed to wed her to I nloski's cadi. 
But the gentle lady still entreats him- 
Send at least a letter, 0 my brother 1 
To IUloski's cadi, thus Üuploring- 
" I, the youthful widow, greet thee fairly, 
And entreat thee by this self-sallIe token, 
'''hen thou comest hither \vitlI thy Lrideslllen, 
I1ring a heavy veil, that I nlay shroud me 
As \ve pass along by ...\'sall's d \velling, 
So I may not see nlY darling orphans." 


Scarcely had the cadi read the letter, 
When he called together all his Lridesmen; 
Bounù to bring the lady hOIne\vards, 
And he brought the veil as she entreated. 


,Jocundly they reached the princely mansion, 
.J ocundly they bore her thence in triuIlllJh; 
But, \vhen they dre\v near to Asan's dwelling, 
Then the children recognised their mother, 
And they cried, " COlne back unto the chamber- 
Share the uleal this evening \'lith thy children!" 
Then she turned her to the lordly bridegroom- 
" Pray thee, let the bridesmen and their horses 
Halt a little by the once-loved d\velling, 
Till I give these presents to DiY children." 


And they halted by the once-loved d\yelling, 
And she gave the \veeping children presents, 
Gave each boy a cap \vith gold eIuhroidered, 
Gave each girl a gay and costly garnlent, 
And with tears she left a tiny Inantle 
For the helpless baby in the cradle. 


These things nunked the father, Asan Aga, 
And in sorrow called he to his children- 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


175 


-, Turn again to me, ye poor deserted; 
Hard as steel is now your mother's bosom; 
Shut so fast it cannot throb with pity!" 


Thus he spoke; and when the lady heard him, 
Pale as death she dropped upon the ravernent, 
And the life fled fronl her wretched lJos 0 Ill, 
As she saw her children turning from her. 


IDYLL. 


A village OllOTl1lS is supposed to be asse1nbled, and about 
to COrJt1nence its festi1;c procession. 


[Written for the birthday of the Duchess Louisa of 'Veimar.] 


CHORUS. 
THE festal day hail ye 
With garlands of pleasure, 
Ând dances' soft Ineasure, 
With rapture commingled 
And sweet choral song. 


DAMON. 
Oh, how I yearn from out the crowd to flee! 
What joy a secret glade would give to me! 
Amid the throng, the turmoil here, 
Confined the plain, the breezes e'en appear, 


CHORUS. 
Now orrlpr it truly, 
That ev'ry r)'
e ,duly 


. 



17 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


May roarIl and may wander, 
Now here and now yonder, 
The nleado\ys along. 


[The Chorus retreats gradually, and the song becomes fainter 
and fainter, till it dies away in the distance.] 


DAMON. 
In vain ye call, in vain \youlù lure nle on; 
True IllY heart speaks, but ,vith itself alone. 
And if I Illay vie\v 
A blessing-fraught land, 
The heaven's clear blue, 
And the plain's verdant hue, 
Alone I'll rejoice, 
Undisturbed by Ulan's voice, 
And there I'll !Jay hOluage 
To wOlnauly n18rit, 
Observe it in spirit, 
In spirit pay hOluage; 
To echo alone 
Shall DiY secret be known. 


CHORUS. 


[Faintly mingling with Damon's song in the distance.] 


To echo - alone - 
Shall my secret - be known. 


MEN ALCAS. 
My friend, why meet I here with thee? 
Thou hastenest not to join the feRtal throng? 
No longer stay, but COlne with ll1e, 
And mingle in the dance and song. . 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


177 


DA:\10N. 
Thou'rt \velcome, friend! but suffer me to roam 
Where these old beeches hide nle from man's view; 
Love seeks in solitude a home, 
And homage may retreat there, too, 


l\IENALCAS. 
Thou seekest here a spurious fame, 
And hast a mind to-day to grieve me. 
Love as thy portion thou luay'st claiIn, 
But homage thou nlust share with all, believe me! 


When their voices thousands raise, 
And the da\vn of morning praise, 
Rapture bringing, 
Blithely singing 
On before us, 
Heart and ear in pleasure vie; 


And when thousands join in chorus, 
With feelings brightly glowing, 
And the wishes overflowing, 
Forcibly they'll bear thee high. 


[The Chorns gradually approaches from the distance.] 


DAMON. 
Distant strains are hither ,vending, 
And rin gladdened by the throng; 
Yes, they're con1Ïng, - yes, descending 
To the valley frOin the height. 


. 



17 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


MEN ALCAS. 
Let us haste, our footsteps blending 
With the rhythm of the song! 
Yes, they COine; their course they're bending 
Toward the wood's green sward so bright. 


CHORUS. 


[Gradually becoming louder.] 


Yes, we hither conle, attendil,lg 
With the harmony of song, 
As the hours their race are ending 
On this day of blest delight. 


ALL. 
Let n one reveal 
'The thoughts \ve feel, 
The aiLns we own! 
Let joy alone 
Disclose the story! 
She'll prove it right 
And her delight 
Includes the glory, 
Includes the bliss 
Of days like this! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


179 


RINALDO.! 


[This cantata was written for Prince Frederick of Gotha, and 
set to music by Winter, the prince singing the part of Rinaldo.- 
See the Annalen.] 


CHORUS. 
To the strand! quick, mount the bark! 
If no favouring breezes blow, 
Ply the oar and nimbly row, 
And with zeal your prowess mark! 
O'er the sea we thus career. 


RINALDO. 
Oh, let me linger one short moment here! 
'Tis heaven's decree, I may not hence a way. 
The rugged cliffs, the wood-encircled bay, 
Hold TIle a prisoner, and my flight delay. 
Ye were so fair, 'but no,v that dreanl is o'er; 
The charIlls of earth, the charms of heaven are nought. 
,What keeps nle in this spot so terror-fraught? 
My only joy is fled frorn me for evermore. 


Let lne taste those days so sweet, 
Rea ven descended, once again I 
Heart, dear heart! ay, warmly beat! 
Spirit true, recall those days! 
Freeborn breath, thy gentle lays 
Mingled are with joy and pain. 


Round the beds so richly gleaming, 
Rises up a palace fair; 
And with rosy fragrance teen1Ïng, 
As in dream thou sa w'st it ne'er. 


1 See TASSO'S" Gerusalemme Liberata," Canto XVI. 



180 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Anù this spacious garden round, 
:Far extend the galleries; 
Roses blosSOlIl near the ground, 
High in air, too, bloom the trees. 


Wat'ry flakes and jets are falling, 
Sweet and silv'ry strains arise; 
While the turtle-dove is calling, 
And the nightingale replies. 


CHORUS. 
Gently come! feel no alarlll, 
On a noLle duty bent; 
Vanished now is ev'ry charln 
That Ly Inagic power was lent. 
FrienLlly \vords and greetings calm 
On his wounùs will pour soft balm, 
:Fill his Inind \vith s,veet content. 


RINALDO. 
Hark! the turtle-dove is calling, 
And the nightingale replies; 
Wat'ry flakes and jets are falling, 
Mingling with their Inelodies. 


But all of then1 say: 
Her 0111 Y we Inean ; 
But all fly a\vay, 
As soon as she's seen,- 
The beauteous young maiden, 
With graces so rife. 


Then lily and rose 
In \vreaths are ent\vining: 
In dances con1 bining, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Each zephyr that blows 
Its brother is greeting, 
All flying and meeting 
With balsam full laden, 
When a ,vakened to life. 


CHORUS. 
No! no longer may 'we 'wait; 
Rouse him from his vision straight! 
Show the adan1antine shield! 


RIN ALDO. 
Woe! 'what form is here revealed! 


CHORUS. 
'Twill disclose the cheat to thee. 


RI
 ALDO. 
Am I doomed lTIyself to see 
Thus degraded evernlore ? 


CHORUS. 
Courage take, and all is o'er. 


RIN ALDO. 
Be it so I I'll take fresh heart, 
From the spot beloved depart, 
Leave Armida once again.- 
Come then! here no more remain! 


CHORUS. 
Yes, 'tis well no nlore remain. 


181 



182 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SEMI - CHORUS. 
Away then! let's fly 
O'er the zephyr-kissed ocean. 
The soul-lighted eye 
Sees armies in lllotion, 
Sees proud banners wave 
O'er the dust-sprinkled course. 


CHORUS. 
From his forefathers brave 
Dra ws the hero new force. 


RIN ALDO. 
With sorrow laden, 
Within this valley's 
All-silent alleys 
The fairest rnaiden 
Again I see. 
Twice can this be ? 
What! shall I hear it, 
And not have spirit 
To ease her pains? 


CHORUS. 
Unworthy chains? 


RIN ALDO. 
And now I've seen her 
Alas! ho\v changed! 
With cold delneanour, 
And looks estranged, 
With ghostly tread,- 
All hope is fled, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


18 3 


Yes, fled for ever. 
The lightnings quiver, 
Each palace falls; 
The godlike halls, 
Each joyous 'hour 
Of spirit-power, 
With love's sweet day 
All fade away! 


CHORUS. 
Yes, fade away! 


SEMI - CHORUS. 
Already are heard 
The prayers of the pious. 
Why longer deny us ? 
The favouring zephyr 
Forbids all delay. 


CHORUS. 
Away, then! away I 


RINALDO. 
With heart sadly stirred, 
Your command I receive; 
Ye force file to leave. 
Unkind is the zephyr,- 
Oh, wherefore not stay 1 


CHORUS. 
Away, then! away! 



18 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE FIRST W ALPURGIS - NIGHT. 


A DRUID. 
S\VEET sn1Ïles the l\lay! 
The forest gay 
FroIH frost and ice is freed; 
No snow is found, 
Glad songs resouud 
Across the verdant Inead. 
Upon the height 
The sno
w lies light, 
Yet thither 11 o'\v we go, 
There to extol our .Father's nalne, 
Whonl we for ages kllOW. 
All1Ïd the slnoke shaH glealll the flame; 
Thus pure the heart '\vill gro\v. 


THE DR DIns. 
An1Îd the sl1loke shall gleanl the flame; 
Extol \ve now our }'ather's nalHe, 
Wholn we for ages kno\v! 
Up, up, then, let us go! 


. ONE OF THE PEOPLE. 
Would ye, then, so rashly act? 
Would ye instant death attract? 
I(no\v ye not the cruel threats 
Of the victors \ve obey? 
R,oul1d about are placed their nets 
In the sinful heathen's \vay. 
Ah! upon the lofty wall 
Wife and children slaughter they; 
And we all . 
Hasten to a certain fall. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


CHORUS OF WOMEN. 
Ay, upon the call1p's high wall 
All our children loved they slay. 
Ah, what ernel victors they! 
And 'we all 
Hasten to a certain fall, 


A DRUID, 
'Vho fears to-clay 
His rites to pay, 
Deserves his chains to wear. 
The forest's free 1 
This wood take we, 
And strajght a pile prepare I 
Yet in the wood 
To stay 'tis good 
By day till all is still, 
With watchers all around us placed 
Protecting you froln ill. 
With courage fresh, then, let us haste 
OUf ùuties to fulfil. 


CHORUS OF ,\\T ATCHERS. 
Ye valiant watchers no'\v ùivide 
Your l1ulubers through the forest wide, 
And Ree that all is still, 
While they their rites fulfil. 


A '\VATCHER. 


Let us in a cunning '\vise, 
Yon dull Christian vriests surprise! 
With the devil of their talk 
'Ve'l1 those very priests confound. 
COlue ,vith prong and COBle \vith fork, 
Itaise a '\vild and rattling sound 


18 5 



186 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Through the livelong night, and prowl 
All the rocky passes round. 
Screech-owl, O\V 1, 
Join in chorus with our howl I 


CHORUS OF WATCHERS. 
Come with prong, and cOlne 'with fork, 
Like the devil of their talk, 
And with wilùly rattling sound, 
Prowl the desert rucks around! 
Screech -ow 1, 0 wI, 
Join in chorus with our howl! 


A DRUID. 
Thus far 'tis right, 
That we by night 
Our Father's praises sing; 
Yet when 'tis day, 
To Thee we may 
A heart unsullied bring. 
'Tis true that now, 
And often, Thou 
Favourest the foe in fight. 
As from the snloke is freeù the blaze, 
So let Cur faith burn bright! 
And if they crush our olden ways, 
Who e'er can crush Thy light? 


A CHRISTIAN '\V ATCHER. 
Comrades, quick! your aid afford! 
All the brood of hell's abroad: 
See how their enchanted fornlS 
Through and through \vith flames are glo\ving! 
Dragon-women, nlen-\volf swarms, 
On in quick succession going! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


187 


Let us, let us haste to fly ! 
vVilder yet the sounds are growing, 
And the arch fiend roars on high; 
}"rom the ground 
Hellish vapours rise around. 


CHORUS OF CHRISTIAN '\V ATCHERS. 
Terrible enchanted fornls, 
Dragon-wonlen, luen-wolf swarms! 
'Vilder yet the sounds are growing! 
Ree, the arch fiend cornes, all-glowing I 
Frolll the ground 
Hellish vapours rise around. 


CHORUS OF DRUIDS. 
As from the smoke is freed the blaze, 
So let our faith burn bright! 
And if they crush our olden ,vays, 
Whoe'er can crush Thy light? 


THE following odes are the most singular of an the poems of 
Goethe, and to many will appear so wilo. and fantastic as to leave 
anything but a pleasing impression, Those at the beginning, ad- 
dressed to his friend Behrisch, were written at the age of eighteen, 
and most of the remainder were composed while he was still quite 
young. Despite, however, the extrava!!ance of some of them, 
such as the" ""inter .Tourney over the Hartz :Mountain " and the 
" 'V anderer's 
torm-Son
," nothing can be finer than the noble 
one entitled" l\lahomet's Song-." and others, Ruch as the "
pirit 
Song over the 'Vaters," LL The Godlike," ano., above all, the 
magnificent sketch of a Prometheus," which forms part of an 
unfinished piece bearing the same name, and called by Goethe a 
H Dramatic Fragment." 



188 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


TO l\IY FRIEND. 


[These three odes are addressed to a certain Behrisch, who 
was tutor to ('ount I
inerlenan, and of whom Goethe gives an odd 
account at the end of the seventh book of his" Autobiography."] 


FIRST ODE. 
TRANSPLANT the beauteous tree! 
Gardener, it gives nle pain; 
A happier resting-place 
Its trunk deserved. 


Yet the strength of its nature 
To Earth's exhausting avarice, 
To Air's destructive inroads, 
An antidote opposed. 


See how it in spring-time 
Coins its pale green leaves! 
Their orange-fragrance 
Poisons each fly-blo\v straight. 


The caterpillar's tooth 
Is blunted by therl1; 
With silvery hues they gleam 
In the bright sunshine. 


Its t\vigs the maiden 
Fain \vould twine in 
Her bridal-garland; 
Youth its fruit are seeking. 


See, the autunlll conleth ! 
The caterpillar 
Sighs to the crafty f-;pider, _ 
Sighs that the tree \vill not fade. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


18 9 


Hov'ring thither, 
FroIn ùut her yew-tree d\velling, 
The gauùy foe advances 
Against the kindly tree, 


And cannot hurt it. 
But the Inure artful one 
Defiles ",ith nauseous venom 
Its silver leaves; 


And sees with triulllph 
How the maiden shudders, 
The youth, ho\v rnourns he, 
On passing by. 


Transplant the beauteous tree! 
Gardener, it gives me pain. 
Tree, thank the gardener 
Who moves thee hellce! 


SECOND ODE. 
THOU goest I I murmur- 
Go I let Ine Illurnlur. 
Oh, worthy man, 
Fly frOlll this land! 


Deadly Inarshes, 
Steaming ruists of October 
Here interweave their currents, 
Blending for ever. 



oisome insects 
Here are engendered; 
Fatal darkness 
Veils their malice. 



19 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


The fiery-tongued serpent, 
Hard by the sedgy bank, 
Stretches his pampered body, 
Caressed by the sun's bright beams. 


Tempt no gentle night-rambles 
Under the moon's cold twilight! 
Loathsollle toads hold their llleetings 
Yonder at every crossway. 


Injuring not, 
Fear \vill they cause thee. 
Oh, \vorthy Ilian, 
Fly from this land! 


THIRD ODE. 
BE void of feeling! 
A heart that soon is stirred, 
Is a possession sad 
Upon this changing earth. 


Behrisch, let spring's sweet smile 
N ever gladden thy brow! 
Then winter's gloomy tempests 
Never will shadow it o'er. 


Lean thyself ne'er on a maiden's 
Sorro\v-engendering breast. 
N e'er on the arnl, 
11isery-fraught, of a friend. 


Already Envy 
From out his rocky ambush 
Upon thee turns 
The force of his lynx-like eyes, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


19 1 


Stretches his talons, . 
On thee falls, 
In thy shoulders 
Cunningly plants them, 


Strong are his skinny arms, 
As panther-claws; 
He shaketh thee, 
And rends thy frame. 


Death 'tis to part; 
'Tis threefold death 
To part, Dot hoping 
Ever to meet again. 


Thou wouldst rejoice to leave 
This hated land behind, 
Wert thou not chained to nle 
With friendship's flowery chains. 


Burst thelll! I'll not repine. 
No noble friend 
Would stay his fellow captive 
If n1eans of flight appear. 


The remeln brance 
Of his dear friend's freedom 
Gives him freedolll 
In his d nngeon. 


Thou goest, - I'm left. 
But e'en already 
The last year's wingèd spokes 
Whirl round the smoken axle. 



19 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I nUl11ber the turns 
Of the thundering wheel; 
The last one I bless,- 
Each bar then is broken, 1'111 free then 
as thou! 


SONG OF THE SPIRITS OVER THE WATERS. 


THE soul of l11an is like to water; 
Frol11 Heaven it COllleth, 
To Heaven it riseth, 
And then returneth to earth, 
For ever alternating. 
Then foan)eth brightly, 
In cloud - wa yes rolling, 
0' er polished rocks. 
Then tranquil flo\ving, 
It 'wandereth, hiding, 
Soft l11urn1uring to depths below it. 
Over scrags frolll the steep projecting 
Falls it all roaring, foanlÏng, step-like, 
}"ar downward. 
Then, level flo-\ving, 
Creeps to the meadow a",-ay: 
And in the glassy sea 
Gaze all the planets at their fair faces. 


Wind is to wavelet tenderest lov(:>!': 
Wind from the deep tears fOéllu-c];(-'f,Jed hill 0 ws, 
Soul of man mortal, ho\v art thou like \vater! 
Fate of man l11ortal, ho\v art thou like wind! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


193 


MAHO
fET'S SONG. 


[This song was intended to be introduced in a dramatic poem 
entitled H 
Iaholl1et," the plan of which was not carried out by 
Goethe. He mentions that it was to have been sung by Ali 
toward the end of the piece, in hOllour of his master, :Mahomet, 
shortly before his death, and when at the height of his glory, of 
which it is typical.] 


SEE the rock-born stream! 
Like the gleam 
Of a star so bright 1 
Kinùly spirits 
High above the clouds 
Nourished hiln while youthful 
In the copse between the cliffs. 


Young and fresh, 
,.From the cloudR he ùanceth 
Down upon the Inarble rocks; 
Then toward heaven 
Leaps exulting. 


Through the nloulltain-passes 
Chaseth he the coluured peLLles
 
And, advancing like a chief, 
· Tears his brother strealnlets \vith him 
In his course. 


In the valley do\vn below 
:Neath his footsteps spring the flowers, 
And the ll1eadow 
111 his breath finds life. 


Yet no shady vale call stay him, 
N or can flowers, 



194 


POE"S OF GOETHE 


Round his knees all softly twining 
With their loving eyes lletain him; 
To the plain his course he taketh, 
Serpent-winding. 


Social strealnlets 
Join his waters. And no'\v IT10Ves he 
O'er the plain in silv'ry glory, 
And the plain in hÜn exults, 
And the rivers from the plain, 
And the streamlets from the lnountain, 
Shout with joy, exclain1ing: "TIrother, 
Brother, take thy brethren 'with thee, 
With thee to thine aged father, 
To the everlasting ocean, 
Who, with anns outstretching far, 
Waiteth for us ; 
All, in vain those anTIS lie open 
To en1 brace his yearning children; 
For the thirstý sand consun1es us 
In the desert waste; the sun bealns 
Drink our life-blood; hills around us 
Into lakes '\vonld daln us ! Brother, 
Take thy brethren of the plaiu, 
Take thy brethren of the mountain 
With thee, to thy father's arms! " 


Let an come, then!- 
And now s'\vells he 
Lorùlier still; yea, e'en a people 
Bears his regal flood on high! 
And in triulnph onward rolling, 
N alnes to countries giyes he, - cities 
Spring to light beneath his foot. 


Ever, ever, on he rushes, 
Leaves the to'\vers' Halne-tipped summits, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


. 
1\farble palaces, the offspring 
Of his fulness, far behind. 


Cedar-houses bears the Atlas 
On his giant shoulders; fluttering 
In the breeze far, far above hiln 
Thousand flags are gaily float.ing, 
Bearing 'witness to his ulight. 


And so beareth he his brethren, 
All his treasures, all his children, 
Wildly shouting, to the bosom 
Of his long-expectant sire. 


1\IY GODDESS. 


SAY, \vbich IU1IDortal 
l\lerits the highest reward? 
With none contend I, 
But I will give it 
To the aye-changing, 
Ever-rnovin H 
b 
,\\r ondrous daughter of Jove, 
His best-beloved offspring, 
S\veet Phantasy. 


For unto her 
Hath he granted 
All the fancic
 \vhich erst 
To none allo\yed he 
Sa ving hiIl1self ; 
N ow he takes his pleasure 
In the mad one. 


She 111ay, cro\vne(l \yith roses, 
'Vith staff t\vined rounù \vith lilies 


195 



19 6 


'" 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Roam through flowery valleys, 
Rule the butterfly people, 
And soft-nourishing dew 
'Vith bee-like lips 
Drink from the blossom: 


Or else she nlay, 
'\Vith fluttering hair 
And gloonlY looks, 
Sigh in the wind 
Round rocky cliffs, 
And thousand-hued, 
Like nlorn and even, 
Ever changing, 
Like moonbealn's ]ight, 
To nlortals appear. 


Let us all, then, 
Adore the Father! 
The old, the lnighty, 
Who such a beauteous 
N e'er-fading spouse 
Deigns to accord 
To perishing lnortals ! 


To us alone 
Doth he unite her, 
With heavenly bonds, 
While he commands her 
In joy and sorrow, 
As a true spouse 
N ever try to fly us. 


All the remaining 
Races so poor 
Of life-teenling earth, 
In children so rich, 



pOEMS OF GOETHE 


vVander anù feed 
In vacant enjoyment, 
And 'mid the dark sorrows 
Of evanescent 
Restricteù life,- 
]3owed by the heavy 
Yoke of Necessity. 


But unto us he 
IIath his lno
t versatile, 

fost cherished daughter 
Granted, - \v hat joy! 


Lovinul y ureet her 
o b 
As a beloveù one! 
Gi ve her the \VOlnan's 
Place in our hOlne ! 


And, oh, nlaY the aged 
Stepnlother Wisdom 
Her gentle spirit 
N e' er seek to harnl ! 


Yet kno\v I her sister, 
The older, sedater, 

lille o\vn silent friend; 
Oh, nlay she never, 
Till life's larnp is quenched, 
Turn away fronl Ine,- 
That nob]e inciter, 
Comforter, - Hope! 


197 



19 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


HARTZ l\10UNTAINS. 


RIDE TO THE HARTZ I
 'YINTER. 


[The following explanation is necessary in order to make this ode 
in any way intelligible. The poet is supposed to leave his com- 
panions, who are proceeding on a hunting expedition in ,,,,inter, 
in order himself to pay a visit to a hypochondriacal friend, and 
also to see the mining in t.he Hartz lllountaills, The ode alter- 
nately describes, in a very fragmentary and peculiar way, the 
naturally happy disposition of the poet himself and the unhappi- 
ness of his friend; it pictures the wildness of the road and the 
dreariness of the prospect, which is relieved at one spot by the 
4istant sight of a town, a very vague allusion to which is made in 
the third strophe; it recalls the hunting party un which his COIll- 
panions have gone: and, after an address to I"ove, conclulles by a 
contrast between unexplored recesses of the highest peak of the 
Hartz and the metalliferous veins of its smaller brethren,] 


FREE as the ha-wk, 
Which, on yon dark lllorning cloud-pile, 
With soft spread pinion resting, 
Looks out for prey, 
Float my loose song! 


Sure a God hath 
Unto each his path 
F ore-a ppoin ted, 
Which the fortunate 
Swift to happiest 
Goal pursues: 
J3ut \vhom misfortune 
Hath frozen to the heart, 
He frets him vainly 
Against the restraint of 
The wire-\voven cord, which 
Soon shall the bitter scissors 
Snap once for all. 


, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


To gloomy thicket 
Rushes the reindeer ,vild, 
And \vith the sparrows have 
Long ago the rich folks 
Into their swalllps for shelter sunk. 
Easy to follow the chariot, 
When 'tis JTortune drives. 
Just as the lUlllberiug cart 
Over the hard, sn100th road rolls, 
After a lnonarch's lnarcb. 


But aside who fareth 1 
In the woods he loses his path; 
Swiftly behind hilll 
The boughs fly together, 
The grass stands up again, 
The desert 0' erw helrns hin1. 


Ah, but \vho healeth the pangs of 
Hin1, ,vhose balm becollles poison 1 
Who but hate for n1an 
Fron1 the fulness of love hath drunk? 
First despised, and no,v a despiser, 
'Vastes he secretly 
All his own best ,vorth, 
Brooding over himself. 


Is there on thy psalter, 
Father of love, one tone 
'Vhich his ear would welcome? 
Oh, then, quicken his heart! 
Open his beclouded look 
Over the thousanrl fountains 
All around hinl thirsting there 
In the desert. 


199 



200 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thou, \vho OIl each besto\yest 
Joys, a superabundant share, 
Bless the Lrothel's of the chase, 
Out in search of \vild Leasts, 
With <langer-loving zeal of youth, 
Eager to take hfe, 
Late avengers of rnischief, 
Which for years hath defied the 
Farmer's threatening cudgel. 


But the lone wanderer \vrap 
In thy golden cloud-fleeces; 
And \vreathe 'with evergreen, 
Till the sunln1er roses be blo'wing, 
The dripping ringlets, 
o Love, of this thy poet! 


With thy flickering torch thou 
Lightest him on 
Through the fords, in the night, 
Over treacherous footing 
On desolate comnlons. 
With the thousand tints of the nloon, thou 
Sn1Ïlest to his heart so! 
With the bitter cold blast 
Bearest hirn gloriously up. 
'Vinter torrents down froln the rocks roll 
Into his antheills. 
An altar of cheerfulest thanks 
Seems to him the terrible summit's 
Sno\v-hung, hoary crown, 
Wreathed \vith ro\vs of pale spirits 
By the marvellous people. ' 


Thou standest, with unexplored bosom 
Mysteriously pron1Ïnent, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


201 


Over the astonished world, 
And lookest from the clouds there 
Down on its riches and n1ajesty, 
Which thou from the veins of these thy brothers 
Round thee here waterest. 


THE WANDERER'S STORM - SO
G. 


[Goethe says of this ode, that it is the only one remaining out 
of several strange hymns and dithyrambs composed by him at a 
period of great unhappiness, when the love-affair between him 
and Frederica had been broken off by him. He used to sing them 
while wandering wildly about the country. This particular one 
was caused by his being caught in a tremendous storm on one of 
these occasions. He calls it a half-crazy piece (haybunsinn), and 
the reader will probably agree with him.] 


HE wholn thou ne'er leavest, Genius, 
Feels no dread within his heart 
At the tempest or the rain. 
He whom thou ne'er leavest, Genius, 
Will to the rain clouds, 
Win to the hail-storm, 
Sing in reply 
As the lark sings, 
a thou on high! 


Him whom thou ne'er leavest, Genius, 
Thou wilt raise above the mud-track 
'Vith thy fiery pinions. 
He vvill wander, 
As, váth flo,very feet, 
Over ]Jeucalion's dark flood, 
Python-slaying, light, glorious, 
Pythius Apollo. 


Him whom thou ne'er leavest, Genius, 
Thou wilt place upon thy fleecy pinion, 



202 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


When he sleepeth on the rock,- 
Thou wilt shelter with thy guardian wing 
In the forest's midnight hour. 


HiIn whonl thou ne'er leavest, Genius, 
Thou wilt wrap up warnlly 
In the snow-drift; 
To,vard the warmth approach the 11uses, 
To,vard the warmth approach the Graces. 


Ye Muses, hover round me! 
Ye Graces also! 
That is ,vater, that is earth, 
And the son of water and of earth 
Over which I wander, 
Like the gods. 


Ye are pure, like the heart of the water, 
Ye are pure like the marro w of earth, 
Hov'ring round me, \vhile I hover 
Over water, o'er the earth, 
Like the gods. 


Shall he, then, return, 
The SIll all, the dark, the fiery peasant? 
Shall he, then, return, awaiting 
Only thy gifts, 0 Father Bromius, 
And brightly gleanlÏng, warm the spreading 
fire? 
Return \vith joy? 
And I, 'whom ye attended, 
Ye Muses and ye Graces, 
'\Vhom all a 'waits that ye, 
Ye l\luses and ye Graces, 
Of circling bliss in life 
Have glorified - shall I 
Return dejected ? 



1 OEMS OF GOETHE 


20 3 


Father Bromius ! 
Thou art the Genius, 
Genius of ages, 
Thou'rt what inward glow 
To Pindar was, 
What to the world 
Phæbus A pallo. 


Woe! Woe! In \vard warnltb, 
Spirit-\varmth, 
Central-point! 
Glow, and vie with 
Phæbus A pallo: 
Coldly soon 
His regal look 
Over thee ,,,ill swiftly glide,- 
Envy-struck 
Linger o'er the cedar's strength, 
Which, to flourish, 
Waits him not. 


Why doth my lay name thee the last? 
Thee, from whom it began, 
Thee, in whom it endeth, 
Thee, froIn whom it flows, 
Jupiter Pluvius! 
To\vard thee streams lilY song, 
And a Castalian spring 
Runs as a fellow brook, 
Runs to the idle ones, 
Mortal, happy ones, 
Apart from thee, 
Who coverest n1e around, 
Jupiter Pluvius! 


N at by the elm-tree 
Him didst thou visit, 



20 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


With the pair of doves 
Held in his gentle arm,- 
With the beauteous garland of roses,- 
Caressing hÜu, so blest in his flowers, 
Allacreoll, 
Storm-breathing godhead! 
Not in the poplar grove, 
Near the Rybaris' strand, 
Not in the nloulltain's 
Sun-ilhllnined bro,v 
Didst thou seize him, 
The tio\ver-singing, 
Honey -breathing, 
S\veetly noùding 
Theocritus. 


'Vhen the \vheels were rattling, 
\Vheel on \vheel to\varcl the goal, 
High arose 
The sound of the lash 
Of youth \vith victory glowing, 
In the dust roBing, 
As fronl the lliountain fall 
Showers of stone in the vale - 
Then thy soul \vas brightly glo\ving, Pindar- 
Glowing? Poor heart? 
There, on the hill,- 
Heavenly lliight! 
But enough glow 
Thither to wend, 
Where is Iny cot? 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


20 5 


TO FATHER 1 I{RONOS. 


[1Y ritten in a post-chaise.] 


HASTEN thee, I{roDos ! 
On' ,,vith clattering trot I 
Down hill goeth thy path; 
Loath so nle dizziness ever, 
When thou delayest, assails me. 
Quick, rattle along, 
Over stock and stone let thy trot 
Into life straightway lead! 


N ow once nlore 
Up the toilsome ascent 
Hasten, panting for breath! 
Up, then, nor idle be,- 
Striving and hoping, up, up ! 


Wide, high, glorious the view 
Gazing round upon life, 
While fronl lllount unto nlount 
Hovers the spirit eterne, 
Life eternal fore boding. 


Side\vays a roof's pleasant shade 
Attracts thee, 
And a look that promises coolness 
On the maidenly threshold. 
There refresh thee I And, maiden, 
Give me this foaming draught also, 
Give llle this health-laden look I 


1 In the original, Schwager, which has the twofold meaning of 
brother-in-law and postilion. 



206 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Down, no\v 1 quicker still, down! 
See \vhere the sun sets I 
Ere he sets, ere old age 
Seize lTIe in the nlorass, 
Ere my toothless jaws munlble, 
And nlY useless limbs totter; 
"\Vhile drunk 'with his fare\vell beam 
H ud me, - a fiery sea 
:Foalning still in Inine eye, - 
Hurl me, while dazzleq and reeling, 
Down to the gloomy portal of hell. 


Blo\v, then, gossip, thy horn, 
Speed Oll \vith echoing trot, 
So that Orcus nlay know we are coming, 
So that our host rnay \\?ith joy 
Wait at the door to receive us. 


THE SEA- VOYAGE. 


l\1AXY a day and night my bark stood ready laden; 
Waiting fa v'ring \vinds, I sat ,vith true friends round 
me, 
Pledging lTIe to patience and to courage, 
In the haven. 


And they spoke thUR \vith impatience t\vofold: 
" Gladly pray \ve for thy rapid passage, 
Gladly for thy happy voyage; fortune 
In the distant world is ,vaiting for thee, 
In our anns thou'lt find thy prize, and love, too, 
\Vhen returning." 
And \vhen nlorning came arose an uproar, 
And the sailors' jOYOUR shouts a\voke us ; 
All was stirring, all ,vas living, nloving, 
Bent on sailing with the first kind zephyr. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


20 7 


And the sails soon in the breezes are s\velling, 
And the sun with fiery love invites us ; 
Filled the sails are, clouds on high are floating, 
On the shore each friend exultant raises 
Songs of hope, in giddy joy expecting 
Joy the voyage through, as on the morn of sailing, 
And the earliest starry nights so radiant. 


But by God.:.sent changing \vinds ere long he's driven 
Sideways fronl the course he had intendeù, 
And he feigns as though he would surrender, 
While he gently striveth to out\vit them, 
To his goal, e'en when thus pressed, still faithfuL 


But fron1 out the damp gray distance rising, 
Softly now the storIn pl'oclaiIus its advent, 
Presseth down each bird upon the \vaters, 
Presseth do\vn the throbbing heart of nlortals, 
And it corneth. At its stubborn fury, 
Wisely every sail the sean1an striketh ; 
With the anguish-laden ball are sporting 
Wind and water. 


And on yonder shore are gathered standing, 
Friends and lovers, tremLling for the bold one: 
"Why, alas, renlained he here not \vith us ! 
Ah, the ten1pe
t ! Cast away by fortune! 
Must the good one perish in this fashion? 
Might not he perchance . . . Ye great immortals! " 


Yet he, like a man, stands by his rudder; 
With the bark are .sporting wind and \vater, 
Wind anù water sport not \vith his bosom: 
On the fierce deep looks he, as a master,- 
In his gods, or ship\vrecked, or safe landed, 
Trusting ever. 



208 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE EAGLE AND THE DOVE. 


IN search of prey once raised his pinions 
An eaglet ; 
A huntsillan's arro\v canle, and reft 
His right wing of all nlotive power. 
Headlong he fell into a lnyrtle grove, 
}'or three long days on anguish fed, . 
In tornlent 'writhed 
Throughout three long, three ,yeary nights; 
And then ,vas cured, 
Thanks to alJ-healillg Nature's 
Soft, oillnipresent bahn. 
lie crept away frolH out the copse; 
And stretched his \ving - alas! 
Lost is all po,ver of flight - 
He scarce can lift hÏ1nself 
From off the ground 
To catch SOUle n1ean, unworthy prey, 
And rests, deep-sorrowiug, 
011 the lo,v rock beside the streanl. 
Up to the oak he looks, 
Looks up to heaven, 
While in his noble ey'c there glealns a tear. 
01 u 
Then, rustling through the 11l)Ttle boughs, behold, 
There comes a wanton pair of doves, 
Who settle down, and, nodding, strut 
O'er the gold sands beside the strealn, 
And gradually approach; 
Their red-tinged eyes, so full of love, 
Soon see the in ward -sorrowing one. 
The male, inquisitively social, leaps 
On the next bush, and looks 
Upon hÏ1n kindly and cOlnplacently. 
"Thou sorrowest," lllurnHUS he: 
" Be of good cheer, nlY friend! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


All that is needed for calm happiness 
Hast thou not here! 
Hast thou not pleasure in the golden bough 
That shields thee froIn the day's fierce glow? 
Canst thou not raise thy breast to catch, 
On the soft n10SS beside the brook, 
The sun's last rays at even? 
Here thou may est \vander through the flowers' 
fresh de\v, 
Pluck from the overflo'w 
The forest-trees provide, 
The choicest food, - nlayest quench 
Thy light thirst at the silvery spring, 
o friend, true happiness 
Lies in contentedness, 
And that contentedness 
Finds everywhere enough." 
" 0 wise one!" said the eagle, \vhile he sank 
In deep and ever deepening thought- 
" 0 Wisdolll! like a dove thou speakest!" 


GANYl\fEDE. 


How, in the light of morning, 
Round me thou glo\vest 
Spring, thou beloved one r 
With thousand-varying loving bliss 
The sacred enlotions 
Born of thy wannth eternal 
Press 'gainst nlY bOSOD1, 
Thou endlessly fair one! 
Could I but hold thee clasped 
vVithin nline arms! 


Ah! upon thy bOS0111 
Lay I, pining, 


20 9 



210 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And then thy flo\vers, thy grass, 
'V ere pressing against my heart. 
Thou coolest the burning 
Thirst of my bosom, 
Beauteous morning breeze! 
The nightingale then calls me 
S\veetly fronl out of the misty vale. 
I come, I come! 
Whither? Ah, ",
hither? 


Up, up, lies my course. 
While downward the clouds 
Are hovering, the clouds 
Are bending to meet yearning love. 
For nle, 
Within thine arms 
U p\vards ! 
Embraced and elnbracing! 
Upwards into thy bosom, 
o Father, all-loving! 


PR01\1ETHEU8, 


COVER thy spacious heavens, Zeus, 
With clouds of 111ist, 
And like the boy who lops 
The thistles' heads, 
, Disport \vith oakR and mountain-peaks; 
Yet thou nlust leave 
1\1:y earth still standing; 
1\ly cottage, too, which was not raised by thee; 
Lea ve rne nlY hearth, 
Whose kindly glow 
By thee is envied. 
I know nought poorer 
Under the sun, than ye gods! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Ye nourish painfully, 
With sacrifices 
And votive 'prayers, 
Your majesty ; 
Ye would e'en starve, 
If children and beggars 
Were not trusting fools. 


While yet a child, 
And ignorant of life, 
I turned my wandering gaze 
Up to\vard the SUll, as if \vith him 
There were an ear to hear illY wailings, 
A heart, like mine, 
To feel cOlllpassion for distress. 


Who helped me 
Against the Titans' insolence? 
Who rescued me from certain death, 
From slavery? 
Didst thou not do all this thyself, 
My sacred glowing heart? 
And glowedst, young and good, 
Deceived with grateful thanks 
To yonder slunlLering one? 


I honour thee, and why? 
Hast thou e'er lightened the sorrows 
Of the heavy laden? 
Hast thou e'er dried up the tears 
Of the anguish-stricken? 
Was I not faRhiolled to be a man 
By ornniputeut TÏ111e, 
Anù by eternal Fate, 
Masters of me and thee? 
Didst thou e'er fancy 


211 



212 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


That life I should learn to hate, 
And fly to deserts, 
Because not all 
My blossoilling dreams grew ripe? 


Here sit I, forIning mortals 
After my image; 
A race reseillbling me, 
To suffer, to ,veep, 
To enjoy, to be glad, 
And thee to scorn, 
As I! 


LIJ\fITS OF HUl\fANITY. 


WHEN the Creator, 
The Great, the Eternal, 
Sows with indifferent 
Hand, frOlll the rolling 
Clouds, o'er the earth, His 
Lightnings in blessing, 
I kiss the nethermost 
Hein of His garment, 
Lowly inclining 
In infantine awe. 
For never against 
The Ï1nmortals, a mortal 
May measure h irn self. 
Upwards aspiring, 
He toucheth the stars with his forehead, 
Then do bis insecure feet 
Stumble and totter and reel; 
Then do the cloud and the tenIpest 
Make him their pastime and sport. 


Let biln ,vith sturdy, 
Sinewy ]illlb
. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Tread the enduring 
Firm-seated earth; 
Aiming no further, than 
The oak or the vine to compare I 


What doth distinguish 
Gods frolll mankind ? 
This! Multitudinous 
Billows roll ever 
Before the immortals, 
An infinite stream. 
We by a billo,v 
Are lifted - a billow 
Engulfs us - we sink, 
And are heard of no more. 


A little round 
Encircles our life, 
And races unnunlbered 
Extend through the ages, 
Linked by existence's 
Infinite chai n. 


THE GODLIKE. 


NOBLE be man, 
Helpful and good I 
For that alone 
Distinguisheth him 
From all the beings 
Unto us known. 


Hail to the beings, 
Unknown and glorious, 
Whom we forebode I 
From his exaluple 


21 3 



21 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Learn ,ve to know them! 
For unfeeling 
Nature is ever. 


On bad and on good 
The sun alike shineth ; 
And 011 the wicked, 
As on the best, 
The moon and stars gleam. 


Tempest and torrent, 
Thunder and hail, 
Roar on their path, 
Seizing the 'v hile, 
As they haste on ward, 
One after another. 


Even so, fortune 
Gropes 'mid the throng- 
Innocent boy hood's 
Curly head seizing,- 
Seizing the hoary 
Head of the sinner. 


After la ,vs mighty, 
Brazen, eternal, 
l\1ust all ,ve mortals 
Finish the circuit 
Of our existence. 


Man, and man only 
Can do the impossible; 
He 'tis distinguisheth, 
Chooseth and judgeth; 
He to the nloment 
Endurance can lend. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


He and he only 
The good can reward, 
The bad can he punish, 
Can hea] and can save; 
All that \vanders and strays 
Can usefully blend. 


And we pay honlage 
To the immortals 
As though they were men, 
And did in the great, 
What the best, in the small, 
Does or might do. 


Be the man that is noble, 
Both helpful and good, 
U r1\vearily forming 
The right anù the useful, 
A type of those beings 
Our mind hath foreshadowed. 


THE GERMAN PARNASSUS. 


'NEATH the shado\v 
Of these bushes 
On the meadow 
Where the cooling water gushes, 
Phæbus gave me, when a boy, 
All life's fulness to enjoy. 
So, in silence, as the God 
Bade therD 'with his sovereign nod, 
Sacreù l\Iuses trained nlY days 
To his praise, - 
With the bright and silvery flood 
Of Parnassus stirred my blood 1 


21 5 



216 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And the seal so pure and chaste 
By them on my Ii ps ,vas placed. 


With her modest pinions, see, 
Philoillel ellcireles Ine ! 
In these bushes, in yon grove, 
Calls she to her sister-throng, 
. ....t\.nd their heavenly choral song 
Teaches 111e to dreanl of love. 


Fulness 'waxes in Iny breast 
Of en1ütions social, blest; 
Friendship's nurtured, -love awakes,- 
Anù the silence Phæbus breaks 
Of his Inourltains, of his vales, 
Sweetly blow the halnlY gales; 
All for 'Wh0111 he shuws affection, 
Who are worthy his l>l'otection, 
Gladly follo\v his direction. 


This one comes with joyous bearing 
And 'with open, radiant gaze; 
That a sterner look is \vearil1g, 
This oue, scarcely cured, 'with daring 
vVakes the strength of fonner ùays ; 
For the s\veet, destructiye flame 
Pierced his Illarro,v and his fralne. 
That which Arnor stole before 
Phæbus only can restore. 
Peace, and joy, anù harnlony, 
Aspirations pure and free. 


Brethren, rise ye ! 
N urn bel's prize ye ! 
Deeds of \vorth resemble they. 
Who can better than the l)ard 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Guide a friend 'when gone astray? 
If his duty he regard, 
1\lo1'e he'll do, than others may. 


Yes I afar I hear thelll sing I 
Yes I I hear theln touch the string, 
And vvith n1Ìghty godlike stroke 
Right and duty they inspire 
Anù evoke, 
As they sing and wake the lyre, 
Tendencies of noblest worth, 
To each type of strength give birth. 


Phantasies of sweetest power 
Flower 
l{ound about on every bough, 
Bending now 
Like the Inagic woud of old, 
'Neath the fruit that gleallls like gold. 


What we feel and what we view 
In the land of highest bliss,- 
This dear soil, a sun like this;- 
Lures the best of WOIHen too. 
And the l\r1uses' breathings blest 
Rouse the nlaidell's gentle breast, 
Tune the throat to lninstrelsy, 
And vvith cheeks of beauteous dye, 
Bid it sing a worthy song, 
Sit the sister-band among; 
And their strains grow softer still, 
As they vie with earnest- will. 


One alIlungst the band betimes 
({oes to \vander 
By the Leeches, 'neath the linles, 
Yonder seeking, finding yonder 


21 7 



218 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


That which in the Inorning-grove 
She had lost through roguish Love, 
All her breast's first aspirations, 
And her heart's calm Ineditations. 
To the shady wood so fair 
Gently stealing, 
Takes she that which lllan call ne'er 
Duly merit, - each soft feeling,- 
Disregards the noontide ray 
And the dew at close of ùay, - 
In the plain her path she loses. 
Ne'er disturb her on her way I 
Seek her silently, ye l\1uses! 


Shouts I hear, ,vherein the sound 
Of the waterfall is drowned. 
FrOln the grove loud clanlours rise, 
Strange the tunllllt, strange tbe cries, 
See I rightly? Can it be ? 
To the very sanctuary, 
Lo, an inlpious troop in-hies! 


O'er the land 
Strealns the band; 
Hot desire, 
IJl'unken-fire 
I n their gaze 
Wildly plays,- 
l\1akes the hair 
Bristle there. 
And the troop, 
With fell swoop, 
W 01nen, 111en, 
Coming then, 
PIJ'T their blows 


And expose, 
V oid of shame, 
All the fraille. 
Iron sh at, 
Fierce and bot, 
Strike with fear 
On the ear; 
All they slay 
On their way, 
O'er the' land 
Puurs the Land; 
All take flight 
At their sight 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Ah, o'er every plant they rush! 
Ah, their cruel footsteps crush 
All the flowers that fill their path! 
Who will dare to stem their wrath? 


Brethren, let us venture all ! 
Virtue in your pure cheek glows. 
Phæbus 'will attend our call 
"-Then he sees our heavy woes; 
And that we may have aright 
Weapons suited to the fight, 
He the U10untaÌll shaketh now- 

E'roln its brow 
Rattling down 
Stone on stone 
Through the thicket spread appear. 
Brethren, seize them! Wherefore fear? 
N ow the villain crew assail, 
As though \vith a storm of hail, 
And expel the strangers \vild 
From these regions soft and mild 
Where the sun has ever smiled! 


What strange wonder do I see? 
Can it be ? 
All my lirn bs of power are reft, 
And an strength my hand has left. 
Can it be ? 
N one are strangers that I see! 
And our brethren 'tis who go 
On before, the way to show! 
Oh, the reckless, impious ones r 
How they, with their jarring tones, 
Beat the tin1e, as on they hie! 
Quick, my brethren! -let us fly ! 


21 9 



220 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


To the rash ones, yet a word! 
Ay, my voice shall now be heard, 
As a peal of thunder, strong! 
Words as poets' arrns ,vere made,- 
When the goù will be obeyed, 
Follow fast his darts ere long. 


Was it possible that ye 
Thus your godlike dignity 
Should forget? Th6 Thyrsus rude 
Must a heavy burden feel 
To the hand but wont to steal 
O'er the lyre in gentle 11100d. 
Fronl the sparkling \vaterfalls, 
Fronl the brook that purling calls, 
Shall Silenus' loathsolne beast 
Be allowed at will to feast? 
Aganippe'sl wave he sips 
With profane and spreading lips,- 
With ungainly feet stanlps llladly, 
Till the waters flow on sadly. 


Fain I'd think myself deluded 
In the saddening sounds I hear; 
Froln the holy glades secluded 
Hateful tones assail the ear, 
Laughter wild (exchange how' Illournful!) 
Takes the place of love's sweet drealn ; 
W 0111 en-haters and the scornful 
In exulting chorus scream. 
Nightingale and turtle-dove 
:Fly their nests so ,varm and chaste, 
And, inflamed ,vith sen
ual love, 
Holds the Faun the N yrnph en1braced. 


1 A spring in Bæotia, ,vhich arose out of ,Mount Helicon, and 
was sacred to Apollo and the ,Muses. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Here a garment's torn away, 
Scoffs succeed their sated bliss, 
While the god, with angry ray, 
Looks upon each inlpious kiss. 


Vapour, smoke, as from a fire, 
And advancing clouds I view; 
Chords not only grace the lyre, 
:For the bow its chords hath, too. 
Even the adurer's heart 
Dreads the ,vild ad vallcing band, 
For the flames that round them dart 
Sho\v the fierce destroyer's hand. 
011, neglect not \vhat I say, 
Fur I speak it lovingly! 
From our boundaries haste a,vay, 
}1'rolll the god's dread anger fly ! 
Cleanse once more the holy place, 
Turn the savage train aside! 
Earth contains upon its face 
Many a spot unsanctified; 
Here ,ve only prize the good. 
Stars unsullied round us burn. 
If ye, in repentant mood, 
From your wanderings would return, 
If ye fail to find the bliss 
That ye found with us of yure,- 
Or ,vhen lawless mirth like this 
Gives your hearts delight no Dlore,- 
Then returu in pilgrim guise, 
Gladly up the nlountain go, 
While your strains repentant rise, 
And our brethren's ad vent show. 


Let a new-born wreath entwine 
Solemnly your temples round; 


221 



222 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Rapture glows in hearts divine 
When a long-lost sinner's found. 
Swifter e'en the Lethe's flood 
Round Death's silent house can play, 
Every error of the good 
Will love's chalice wash away. 
All will haste your steps to n1eet, 
As ye C01l1e in majesty,- 
Men your blessing will entreat;- 
Ours ye thus will doubly be ! 


LOVE'S DISTRESSES. 


WHO will hear n1e? Whonl shall I lau1ent to ? 
Who would pity me that heard n1Y sorrows? 
....t\.h, the lip that erst so Inany raptures 
U sed to taste, and used to give responsive, 
N o\V is cloven, anù it pains I11e sorely; 
And it is not thus severely \vounded 
By my lnistress having caught Ille fiercely, 
And then gently bitten TIle, intending 
To secure her friend more fil'lnly to her: 
No, my tender lip is cracked thus, only 
By the ,vinds, o'er rime and frost proceeding, 
Pointed, sharp, unloving, having Inet me. 
N o\V the noble grape's bright juice cOIn mingled 
With the bee's sweet juice, upon the fire 
Of my hearth shall ease Ille of nlY torment. 
Ah, "'That use will all this be, if with it 
Love adds not a drop of his own balsam? 



. 
?OEMS OF GOETHE 


223 


LILT'S MENAGERIE. 


[Goethe describes this much-admired poem, which he wrote in 
honour of his love Lili, as being "designed to change his sur- 
render of her into despair, by drolly-fretful images."] 
THERE'S no 11lenagerie, I vo,v, 
Excels my Lili's at this minute; 
She keeps the strangest creatures in it, 
And catches them, she knows not ho,v. 
Oh, ho\v they hop, and rUll, and ra.ve, 
And their clipped pinions wildly wave,- 
Poor princes, who Inust all endure 
The pangs of love that nought can cure. 
What is the fairy's nallle ? - Is it Lili ? - Ask not me! 
Give thanks to HeaVen if she's unkno'wn to thee. 


Oh, ,vhat a cackling, ,vhat a shrieking 
When near the door she takes her stand, 
With her food-basket in her hand! 
Oh, what a croaking, what a squeaking! 
Alive an the trees and the bushes appear, 
While to her feet ,vhole troops draw near; 
The very fish ,vithin the water clear 
Splash \vith impatience and their heads protrude; 
And then she throws around the food 
With such a look ! - the very gods delighting 
(To say nought of beasts). There begins, then, a biting, 
A picking, a pecking, a sipping, 
And each o'er the legs of another is tripping, 
And pushing, and pressing, and flapping, 
And chasing, and fuming, and snapping, 
And all for oue s111a11 piece of bread, 
To which, though dry, her fair hands give a taste, 
As though it in ambrosia had been placed. 
And then her look I the tone 
With which she calls: Pipi 1 Pipi! 



224 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Would dra\v Jove's eagle from his throne; 
y es, Venus' turtle-doves, I ween, 
And the vain peacock e'en, 
Would conle, I swear, 
Soon as that tone had reached them through the air. 


E'en from a forest dark had she 
Enticed a bear, unlicked, ill-bred, 
And, by her wiles alluring, led 
To join the gentle company, 
Until as tame as they was he: 
(U p to a certain point, be it understood !) 
How fair, and ah! ho\v good 
She seemed to be! I would have drained my blood 
To water e'en her flow'rets sweet. 


"Thou sayest: I! 'Vho 1 Ho\v 1 And where 1" - 
Well, to be plain, good sirs - I aln the bear; 
In a net apron, caught, alas! 
Chained by a silk thread at her feet. 
But ho\v this wonder carne to pass 
I'll tell some day if ye are curious; 
Just now, IllY tenlper's much too furious. 


Ah, when I'm in the corner placed, 
And hear afar the creatures snapping, 
And see the flipping and the flapping, 
I turn around 
With grow ling sound, 
And backward run a step in haste, 
And look around 
With growling sound, 
Then run again a step in haste, 
And to my former post go round. 


But suddenly my anger grO\YS, 
A mighty spirit fills my nose, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


225 


My in,vard feelings all revolt. 
A creature such as thou! 
 dolt! 
Pipi, a squirrel able nuts to crack! 
I bristle up lilY shaggy back, 
U nnsed a slave to be. I 
I'm laughed at by each trin1 anù upstart tree 
To scorn. The bo\vling green I fly, 
With neatly-u10wn and \vell-kevt grass; 
The box nlakes faces as I pass,- 
Into the darkest thicket basten I, 
Hoping to 'scape froITI the ring, 
Over the palings to spring! 
Vainly I leap and clÜnb; 
I feel a leaden spell 
That piniolls llte as well, 
And \v hen 1'111 fully wearied out in time, 
I lay me duwn beside SOllle lllock-cascade, 
And roll myself half dead, and foa1H, and cry, 
And, ah! no Oreads hear IllY sigh, 
Excepting those of china 1nade! 
But, ah, \vith sudden po'wer, 
III all UlY nlen1bers blissful feelings reign I 
'Tis she who singeth yonder in her Lower! 
I hear that darling, darling voice again. 
The air is Wal'lll, and teenlS ,vith fragrance clear, 
Sings she perchance fur 111e alone to hear? 
I haste, and tran1ple dO\Vll the shrubs aIHain; 
The trees nlake ,yay, the bushes all retreat, 
And so - the beast is lying at her feet. 
She looks at hinl: "The lllonstel"S droll enough! 
He's, for a bear, too mild, 
Yet, for a dog, too wild, 
So shaggy, chlnlsy, rough ! " 
Up in his back she gently' strokes her foot; 
He thiuks hiIllself ill Par9ùise. 



226 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


'Vhat feelings through his seven senses shoot! 
But she looks on \vith careless eyes. 
I lick her soles, and kiss her shoes, 
As gently as a bear well n1ay; 
Softly I rise, and with a clever ruse 
Lea p on her knee. - On a propitious day 
She suffers it ; my ears then tickles she, 
And hits lile a hard Llo\v in \vauton play; 
I gro\vl \vith ne\v-born ecstasy; 
Then speaks she in a s\veet vain jest, I wot; 
" Allons tout doux! eh! la 1nenotte ! 
Et faites serviteur 
ConL1ne 1[(;n Joli seigneur." 
Thus she pruceeds \vith Aport and glee; 
Hope fills the oft-deluded beast; 
Yet if one mOlnent he \volÜd lazy be, 
Her fonùness all at once hath ceased. 


She doth a flask of balsam fire possess, 
Sweeter than honey bees call make, 
One drop of which she'll on her finger take, 
When softened by his love aud faithfulness, 
'\Vherewith her Illonster's raging thirst to slake; 
Then leaves me to ll1yself, anLl flies at last, 
And I, un bound, yet prisoued fast 
By Inagic, follo\v in -her train, 
Seek for her, tren1ble, fly again. 
The hapless creature thus tornlenteth she, 
Regardless of his pleasure or his woe; 
Ha! oft half-opened does she leave the door for me, 
And sideways looks to learn if I will fly or no; 
And J - a gods! your hands alone 
Can end the spell that's o'er me thrown; 
Free me, and gratitw 1e nlY heart \vill fill ; 
And yet froin heaven ye send 111e do\vn no aid- 
Not quite in vain doth life 111Y liulbs pervade: 
I feel it ! Strength is left lne still, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


227 


TO CHARLOTTE. 


MIDST the noise of 11lerrimeut and glee, 
'l\fidst full n1any a sorro\v, Inany a care, 
Charlotte, I remeln bel', u'e remelD bel' thee, 
Howat evening's hour so fair, 
Thou a kinùly hand didst reach us, 
When thou, jn suUle happy place 
'\Vhere 1110re fair is Nature's face, 
l\fany a lightly-hidden trace 
Of a spirit loved ùidst teach us. 


'V ell 'tis that thy ,vorth I rightly kne\v,- 
That I, in the hour ,vhen first ,ve lllet, 
While the first in1pression filled nle yet, 
Called thee then a girl both gouù and true. 


Reared in silence, calrnly, knowing nought, 
On the world ,ve suddenly are thro,vn ; 
Hundred thousand billo\vs round us. sport; 
All things chafIn us - Illany please alone, 
Many grieve us, and as hour on hour is stealing, 
To and fro our restless natures sway; 
First we feel, and then ,ve find each feeling 
By the changeful \Vorld-streanl borne away. 


'VeIl T know, we oft ,vithin U'3 find 
l\fany a hope and many a smart. 
Charlotte, ,vho can know our mind? 
Charlotte, ,vho ran know our heart? 
Ah! 't\vould fain be understood, 't\vould fain o'erflow 
In SODle creature's fello,v-feelings hlest, 
And, \vith trust, in t,vofold rneasure kno,v 
An the. grief and joy in Nature's breast. 



228 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then thine eye is oft around thee cast, 
But in vain, for all seems closed for ever; 
Thus the fairest part of life is lnadly passed 
Free froIn stornl, but resting never; 
To thy sorrow thou'rt to-day repelled 
By what yesterday obeyed thee. 
Can that world by thee be worthy held 
Which so oft betrayed thee? 


'Vhich 'mid all thy pleasures and thy pains, 
Lived in selfish, unconcerned repose? 
See, the soul its secret celIs regains, 
And the heart - nlakes haste to close. 
Thus found I thee, anù gladly ,vent to meet thee; 
" She's worthy of all loye!" I cried, 
And prayed that Heaven \vith purest bliss might greet 
thee, 
'Vhich in thy friend it richly hath supplied. 


l\lORNING LAl\lENT. 


OR, thou cruel, deadly-lovely maiden, 
Tell me ,vhat great sin have I conlmitted, 
That thou keepest me to the rack thus fa
tened, 
That thou hasi thy 
Olell1n 1>ron1Ïse broken? 


'T,vas hut vestere'en that thou \vith fondness 
Pre

ed lnÿ hand, and these s\veet accents Inunllured: 
" l
 eR, I'll COll1e, I'll COlne when nlorn approacheth, 
Come, Iny friend, full surely to thy chanlber." 
On the latch I left my doors, unfastened, 
Having first ,vith car
 tried all the hinges, 
And rejoiced right well to find they creaked not. 


'''"hat a night of expectation passed T! 
}"or I ,vatched; and every chime I numbered;. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


If perchance I slept a few short lllolllellts, 
Still n1Y heart remained a 'wake for ever, 
And awoke n1e froln IllY gentle sluInùers. 


Yes, then blessed I night's o'erhanging darkness, 
That so caln1ly covereù all things round 111e; 
1 enjoyeù the universal silence, 
'\Vhile I listened ever in the silence, 
If perchance the slightest sounds \vere stirring. 


" Had she only thoughts, '1ny thoughts reseinbling, 
Had she only feelings, like iny feelings, 
She would not await the da\vn of n10rning, 
But, ere this, \vonld surely have been \vith me." 


Skipped a kitten on the floor above me, 
Scratched a rnouse a panel in the corner, 
'\Vas there in the house the slightest 1110tion, 
Ever hoped I that I heard thy footstep, 
Ever thought I that I heard thee con1Ìng. 


And so lay I long, and ever longer, 
And already \vas the daylight da\vning, 
And both here and there were signs of llloveinent. 


" Is it yon door? Were it '1ny door only 1 " 
III my bed I leaned upon my elbow, 
Looking to\vard the door, no\v half-apparent, 
If perchance it might not be in motion. 
Both the wings upon the latch continued, 
On the quiet hinges cahnly hanging. 


And the day gre\v bright and brighter ever; 
And I heard my neighbour's door unbolted, 
As he went to earn his daily wages, 
And ere long I heard the \Vagolls, runl bling, 
And the city gates were also opened, 


229 



23 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


While the IDarket-place, ill every corner, 
Teemed, with life allLl bustle allù confusion. 


In the house was going now and con1Ïng 
Up and down the stairs, and doors were creaking 
Backwards no\v, now forwards, - footsteps clattered, 
Yet, as though it were a thing all-living, 
:Fron1 lny cherished hope I could not tear me. 


When at length the sun, in hated splendour, 
:Fell upon my \valls, upon 111Y \vind()\vs, 
Up I sprang, and hastened to the garden, 
There to blend rny breath, so hot and yearning, 
'Vith the cool refreshing rllorning breezes, 
And, it n1Ïght be, even there to I1leet thee: 
But I cannot find thee ill the arbour, 
Or the avenue of lofty lindens. 


THE VISIT. 


To - DAY I thought to steal upon lny darling, 
But the door was closed of her a partlllents. 
Of a key, ho\vever, I anI Inaster; 
N oislessly I glide within the doorway. 


In the salon found I not the ruaiden, 
Found the lllaiden not withiu the parlour, 
But Oll tiptoe entering her chaIn bel', 
There I find her, sunk in graceful slun1ber, 
In her robes, upon the sofa lying. 
At her work had slumber overtaken her; 
And the netting, \vith the needles, rested 
'Twixt the fair hands that hung crosswise folded. 
Silently I sate rue do\vn beside her, 
And awhile I musèd if I shoul(l \nlke her. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


23 1 


A 'wed 1ne then the peace so sweet and holy, 
Which upon her drooping eyelids rested: 
On her lips abode a trustful quiet, 
Beauty on her cheek8, the honle of beauty; 
And the trauquil movelnent of her bosom 
Sho\ved how innocent the .heart that moved it. 
All her lÜnbs, so gracefully reposing, 
Lay relaxed by slee1->'s delicious balsam: 
There I sat enraptured, and the vision 
Curbed the in1pulse I had felt to wake her, 
With a spell that close and closer bound me. 


"0 my love," I lllurn1ured, "and can slumber, 
Which unmasks whate'er is false and formal, 
Can he injure thee not, nor unravel 
Aught to shake thy lover's fondest fancy 1 


" Thy dear eyes are closed, those eyes so tender- 
Eyes, which only lifted are enchantlnellt, 
Those sweet lips, ob, lips so s\veet they stir not, 
Stir not nor for speech, nor yet for kisRes I 
All unloosened is the lllagic cincture 
Of thine arn1S, that otherwhiles enclasp 1ne, 
And the hand, the dainty sweet conlpanion 
Of all best endearnlents, void of Illotion. 
Were my thoughts of thee delusion lllerely- 
Were my love for thee but self-deception, 
I must now discern the truth, when Anlor 
Stands besid
 me thus, with eyes unbandaged." 


Long while thus I sat, with heart elated, 
Thinking of her worth and Iny devotion; 
Sleeping, she with rapture so had filled me, 
That I did not venture to a wake her. 


Placing softly down upon her table 
Two ponlegranates and t\VO half-blo\vn rosebudf', 



23 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Gently, gently, gliùe I from the chan1ber. 
'\Vhen she opes her eyes, my own heart's darling, 
And they rest upon my gift, \vith wonder 
Will she llluse, ho\v such fine token ever 
There should be, and yet her door unopened. 


When to-night again I see my angel, 
Oh, how she will joy, and twofold pay me, 
:For this tribute of my heart's devotion! 


THE 
IUSAGETES. 


OFTEN in the winter rnidnight, 
Prayed I to the blessed l\fuses- 
"Here is not the red of nlorning, 
Tardy is the day in breaking; 
Light for me, ye blessed l\luses, 
Light the lalnp of inspiration, 
That its mello,v ray may serve me, 
'Stead of Phæbus and Aurora!" 
But they left me to my slumber, 
Dull, and spiritless, and torpid; 
And the nlorning's lazy leisure 
Ushered in a useless day. 


Then when spring began to kindle, 
Thus the nightingales I conjureJÌ- 
" S\veetest nightingales, oh, warble, 
Warble early at Iny \vindow ! 
Wake me froln the heavy shllnber 
That in magic fetters holds me ! " 
And the love-a' erfl o\ving singers 
Sang all night around IllY window 
All their rarest melodies; 
Kept awake the soul within 111e; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Gave me trances, aspirations, 
Glimpses of divine enlotion, 
Soothing, luelting, undefined. 
So the night passed lightly over, 
And Aurora found rue sleeping, 
Scarce I wakened with the sun. 


Lastly, came the glorious summer; 
What aroused me then from dreaming, 
At the earliest da\vn of morning 1 
'Twas the buzzing of the flies! 
They are touched by no conlpassion; 
Ruthlessly they do their duty, 
Though the half-a \vakened sleeper 
Greets theln with a nlalediction. 
Unabashed their clan they summon, 
And the humming s\varm is vocal, 
And they banish from my eyelids 
All the luxury of sleep. 


Straightway start I from my pillow, 
Leave the close-beleaguered chamber, 
Sally out to seek the l\:fuses, 
In the haunts to them are dearest. 
And I find them 'neath the beeches, 
Waiting for me, sometÏ1nes chiding, 
For nlY over-long delay. 
Thus I o\ve you, libelled insects, 
Thanks for many hours of rapture. 
Dullards may indeed abuse you, 
Since you wake thenl to sensation; 
But the poet ought to prize you, 
And I thank you, as a poet, 
Ranking you, beyond all others, 
As the ushers to the l\luse. 


233 



234 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE WATER-J\IAN. 


[This ballad cannot be claimed as one of Goethe's original com- 
positions, it being a very close translation of an old Danish 
ballad, entitled, "The :l\ler-man, and l\Iarstig's daughter." ...\8, 
however, it appears in all the collections, and has often been 
quoted as a favourable specimen of Goethe's skill ill assuming the 
simple style of the popular :Korth ern ballads, we have deemed 
it advisable to give a version.] 


" OR, mother! rede me well, I pray; 
Ho\v shall I woo Ine yon winsome l\Iay ? " 


She has built him a horse of the water clear, 
The saddle and bridle of sea-sand 'were. 


He has donned the garb of a knight so gay, 
And to Mary's ICirk he has ridden a way. 


He tied his steed to the chancel door, 
And he stepped round the Kirk three times and four. 


He has boune him into the JCirk, and all 
Drew near to gaze on him, great and small. 


The priest he was standing in the quire;- 
" '\That gay young gaUant comes bra nking here?" 


The \vinson1e Inaid, to herself said she, 
&, Oh, were that gay )"oung gallant for me 
 " 


f-f p stepped o'er one stool, he stepped o'er two; 
" Oh, Inaiden, plight 111e thine oath so true!" 


He stepped o'er three stools, he stepped o'er four; 
"Wilt be lnine, s\veet J\Iay, for evernlore ? " 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


235 


She gave him her hand of the drifted snow- 
" Here hast thou lIlY troth, aDd with thee I'll go." 


They \vent fronI the Kirk 'with the bridal train, 
They danced in glee and they danced full fain; 


They danced them down to the salt-sea strand, 
And they left them standing there, haud in hand. 


" Now \vait thee, love, \vith my steed so free, 
And the bonniest bark I'll bring for thee," 


And \vhen they passed to the white, white sand, 
The ships canle sailing on to the land; 


But \vhen they \vere out in the midst of the sound, 
Down \vent they all in the deep profound! 


Long, long on the shore, when the 'winds were high, 
They heard froln the \vaters the maiden's cry, 


I rede ye, dalIlsels, as best I can - 
Tread not the dance with the Water-Man J 


PSYCHE. 


THE l\Iuses, lnaiden sisters, chose 
To teach poor Psyche arts poetic; 
But, spite of all their rules æsthetic, 
She never could emerge from prose. 


N a dulcet sounds escaped her lyre, 
E'en \vhen the summer nights were nigh; 
Till Cupid came, \vith glance of fire, 
And taught her all the mystery. 



23 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


IN ABSENCE. 


AND shall I then regain thee never? 
l\fy beautiful! And art thou flown? 
Still in IllY ears resounds for ever 
Thy every word, thy every tone. 


Âs through the air, 'when 11101'11 is springing, 
The wanderer peers in vain, to trace 
The lark, that o'er hiIll high is singing, 
Hid in the azure depth of space; 


So, love, through field and forest lonely 
l\1y sad eyes roalIl in quest of thee; 
}'fy songs are tuned to thee, thee only; 
Oh, come, my O\Vll love, back to me I 


THE lVIAGIC NET. 


Do I see a contest yonder? 
See I miracles or pastimes? 
Beauteous urchins, five in number, 
'Gainst five sisters fair coutenùing,- 
Measured is the tinle they're beating-- 
At a bright enchantress' bidding. 
Glittering spears by son1e are \vielded, 
Threads are others nimbly twining, 
So that in their snares, the weapons, 
One \vould think, must needs be captured 
S0011, in truth, the spears are prisolled: 
Yet they, in the gentle war-dance, 
One by one escape their fetters 
In the row of loops so tender, 
That make haste to seize a free one 
Soon as they release a captive. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


So with contests, strivings, triumphs, 
Flying now, and now returning, 
Is an artful net soon woven, 
In its \vbiteness like the snowflakes, 
That, from light amid the darkness, 
Draw their streaky lines so varied, 
As e'en colours scarce can draw them. 


Who shall now receive that garment 
Far beyond all others \vished-for 1 
WhOIIl our much-loved mistress favour 
As her own acknowledged servant? 
I am blest by kindly Fortune's 
Tokens true, in silence prayed for! 
And I feel IHyself held captive, 
To her service now devoted. 


Yet, e'en \vhile I, thus enraptured, 
Thus adorned, aID proudly wandering, 
See! yon wantons are ent\vining, 
V oid of strife with secret ardour, 
Other nets, each fine and finer, 
Threads of twilight inter\veaving, 
l\loonbeams sweet, night-violets' balsam 


Ere the net is noticed by us, 
Is a happier one in1prisoned, 
Wholn \ve, one and all, together 
Greet \vith envy and \vith blessings. 


THE CHURCH WINDOW. 


THE minster window, richly glo\ving, 
With many a gorgeous stain and dye, 
Itself a parable, is showing, 
The might, the power of Poesy. 


237 



23 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Look on it froln the outer square, 
And it is only dark and dreary; 
Yon blockhead always views it there, 
And swears its aspect makes him weary. 


But enter once the holy portal - 
What splendour bursts upon the eye! 
There sYlnbols, deeds, and forms immortal, 
Are blazing forth in majesty. 


Be thankful you, \vho have the gift 
To read and feel each sacred story; 
And oh, be reverent when you lift 
Your eyes to look on heavenly glory! 


THE CAVALIER'S CHOICE. 


[This lively little ballad occurs in one of Goethe's operas, very 
charming compositions, which probably are less read than they de- 
serve. It is not altogether original, being evidently founded on a 
popular Scot.tish ditty, ca.lled indiscriminately U Captain "T edder- 
burn's Courtship," or the "Laird of Hoslin's Daught.er." in 
which precisely the same questions a.re propounded and answered. 
Truth compels us t,o say that, in point of merit, the superiority 
lies with the Scottish ba.llaò. This being a case of disputed 
property, or rather commonty, the translator has allowed himself 
more license in rendering- than has been used in any other instance 
in the present collection,] 


IT \vas a gallant cavalier 
Of hOllour and renown, 
And all to seek a ladye-Iove 
He rode frolll town to town. 
Till at a \vidow-\voman's door 
He dre\v the rein so free; 
For at her side the knight espied 
Her conlely daughterR three. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Wellluight he gaze upon them, 
For they were fair and tall; 
Yen ever have seen fairer lnaids, 
In bower nor yet in hall. 
Small marvel if the gallant's heart 
Beat quicker in his breast; 
'T\vas hard to choose, and hard to lose- 
How nlight he wale the Lest? 


" N O\V, maidens, pretty maidens n1Ïne, 
Who'lll'ede nle riddles three? 
And she who answers best of all 
Shall be nÜne own ladye!" 
I ween they blushed as Inaidens do, 
\Vhen such rare words they hear- 
"N O\v speak thy riddles if thou ,yilt, 
Thou gay young cavalier! " 


" What's longer than the longest path 1 
First tell ye that to Ine; 
And tell nle what is deeper yet, 
Than is the deepest sea? 
And tell me \vhat is louder far, 
Than is the loudest horn? 
And tell me what hath sharper point, 
Than e'en the sharpest thorn? 


u And tell me what is greener yet, 
Than greenest grass on hill 1 
And tell Ine what is crueller 
Than a wicked wonlan's will?" 
The eldest and the second maid, 
They n1used aud thought awhile; 
"But the youngest she looked upward, 
And spoke with merry smile. 


239 



24 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" Oh, love is surely longer far, 
Than the longest paths that be; 
And hell, they say, is deelJer yet, 
Than is the deepest sea; 
The roll of thunder is lllore loud, 
Than is the loudest horn; 
And hunger it is \vorse to bear 
Than sharpest "round of thorn; 


"The copper s\veat is greener yet, 
Than is the grass on hill; 
And the foul fiend he is crueller 
Than any \VOnlan's will." 
He leapt so lightly from his steed, 
lIe took her by the hand; 
" Sweet nlaià, Iny riddles thou hast read, 
Be lady of illY land!" 


The eldest and the second maid, 
They pondered and were dUlnb, 
And there, perchance, are \vaiting yet 
Till another \vooer come. 
Theu, nlaidens, take this vyarning word, 
Be neither slow nor shy, 
But always, when a lover speaks, 
Look kindly, and reply. 


THE ARTIST'S l\fORNING SONG. 


My dwelling is the l\luses' hOlne- 
What luatters it ho\v small ? 
And here, within lIlY heart, is set 
The holiest place of all. 


When, wakened by the early sun, 
I rise from slumbers sound" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


I see the ever-living forms 
In raùiance grouped around. 


I pray, and songs of thanks and praise 
Are more than half n1Y prayer, 
With sin1ple notes of music, tuned 
To sonle harnlonious air. 


I bow before the altar then, 
And react., as well I Inay, 
Froin noble HOiner's nlaster-work, 
The lesson for the day. 


He takes HIe to the furious fight, 
Where lion-"'
arriors throng; 
Where god-descended heroes \vhirl 
In iron cars 
long. 


And steeds go do\vn before the cars; 
And round the cumbered \v heel, 
Both friend and foe are rolling no\v, 
All blood from head to heel! 


Then comes the chanlpion of then1 all, 
Pelides' friend is he, 
And crashes through the -dense array, 
Though thousands ten they be ! 


And ever smites that fiery s\vord 
Through hehnet, shield, and'inail, 
Until he falls by craft divine, 
vVhere might could not prevail. 


Down from the glorious pile he rolls, 
Which he himself had Inade, 
And foemen trainple on the linÜJs 
Froln \vhich they shrank afraid. 


24 1 



24 2 


. 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then start I up, with arnlS in hand, 
What arlIlS the painter bears; 
And soon along nlY kindling wall 
The fight at Troy appears. 


On! on again! The wrath is here 
Of battle rolling red; 
Shield strikes on shield, and s\vord on helm, 
And dead men fall on dead! 


I throng into the inner press, 
Where loudest rings the din; 
For there, around their hero's corpse, 
Fight on his furious kin! 


A rescue! rescue! bear him hence 
Into the leaguer near; 
Pour balsanl in his glorious \vounds, 
And weep above his bier! 


And \vhen from that hot trance I pass, 
Great Love, I feel thy charnl; 
There hangs lllY lady's picture near- 
A picture, yet so warm! 


Ho\v fair she was, reclining there; 
What lauguish in her look! 
How thrilled her glance through all my frame, 
The very pencil shook. 


Her eyes, her cheeks, her lovely lips, 
Were all the world to me; 
And in lilY breast a younger life 
Rose wild and wantonly. 


Oh! turn again, and bide thee here, 
N or fear such rude alarms; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


How could I think of battles 1110re 
With thee ,vithin my arms! 


But thou shalt lend thy perfect form 
To all I fashion best; 
I'll paint thee first, l\ladonna-\vise, 
The infant on thy breast. 


I'll paint thee as a startled nyn}ph, 
J\lyself a following faUD ; 
And still pursue thy flying feet 
Across the \voodland la \VD. 


With hel111 on head, like l\fars, l'lllie 
By thee, the Queen of Love, 
And draw a net around us twain, 
And snÜle on heaven above: 


Anù every goù that comes shall pour 
His blessings on thy head, 
And envious eyes be far a way 
From that dear lnarriage-bed I 


THE GOBLET, 


IN my hands I held a brimming goblet, 
Sculptured quaintly by the carver's cunning, 
Quaffed \vith eager lips the strong nepenthe, 
So at once to drown all care and anguish. 


Then came Arnor in and found me sitting, 
And he smiled a smile of serious sweetness 
As in pity of my foolish purpose. 


"Friend, I kno\v a vessel nolJler, fairer, 
Worthy all your soul in it to bury; 


243 



244 


POE^1S OF GOETHE 


Say what guerdon, if to thee I give it, 
:Fill it for thee with a rarer nectar?" 


Oh, he kept his pron1Ïse, and how truly! 
Lida, when \vith thy dear love he blessed me- 
1\le, that for thy sake had long been pining. 


When I clasp thy beauties to my bosonl, 
Anù froin thy fond lips, so fond and faithful, 
Drink the baIrn uf long, long stored affection, 
Thus entranced, 1 COlunlune \vith lny spirit. 


" No; has never God, save Arnor, fashioned 
Vessel such as this, nul' e'er possessed it ! 
:Forms so glol'iôus ne'er \vere shaped by Vulcan, 
With his finest soul-en prompted mallet. 


" On the leaf-clad lllountains IlJay Lyæus 
With his fauns, the hoariest, the sagest, 
Cull the clusters of the daintiest savour, 
Yea, may guide the mystic fermentation, 
Draughts like this not all his skill can furnish!" 


FROl\1 AN ALBUl\l OF 1604. 


HOPE provides wings to thought, and love to hope. 
Rise up to Cynthia, love, when night is cleare
t, 
And say, that as high on her figure changeth, 
So, upon earth, IllY joy decays a?ù grows. 
And \vhisper in her ear with lllodest softness, 
How doubt oft h uug its head, and truth oft wept. 
If ye are therefore by the loved one chided, 
And, oh, ye thoughts, distrustfully inclined, 
Answer: 'tis true ye chauge, but alter not. 
As she remains the same, yet changeth ever. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


245 


Doubt may invade the heart, but poisons not, 
For love is sweeter, by suspicion flavoured. 
If it ,vith anger overcasts the eye, 
And heaven's bright purity perversely blackens, 
Then zephyr-sighs straight scare the clouds a",-ay, 
And, changed to tear
, dissulve then} into rain. 
Thought, hope, and love renlain there as Lefore, 
Till Cynthia gleanls upon lne as of old. 


TO THE GRASSHOPPER. 


AFTER ANACREON. 


[The strong reRemblance of this fine poem to Cowley's ode 
bearing the same name, and beginuing, .. Happy insect! what 
can be," will be at once seen,] 


HAPPY art thou, darling insect, 
Who upon the trees' tall branches, 
By a modest draught inspired, 
Singing, like a nlonarch livest! 
Thou possessest as thy portion 
All that on the plains thou seest, 
,AJI that by the hours is brought thee; 
'lViongst the husban(hnen thou livest, 
As a friend, uninjured by theIn, 
Thou whom lTIortals love to honour, 
Herald sweet of sweet Spring's advent! 
Yes, thou'rt loved by all the 
Iuses, 
Phæbus' self, too, needs nlust love thee; 
They their silver voices gave thee, 
Age can neyer steal upon thee. 
\Vise and gentle friend of poets, 
Born a creature fleshless, bloodless, 
Though Earth's daughter, free frOln suffering, 
To the gods e'en ahuost equal. 



24 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


FROM" THE SORRO'VS OF YOUKG WERTHER." 


[Prefixed to the second edition. J 


EVERY youth for love's sweet portion sighs, 
Every 111aiden sighs to \vin Ulan's love; 
Why, alas! should Litter pain arise 
Fronl the noblest passion that \ve prove? 


Thou, kiud soul, be\vailest, lovest hÜn ,veIl, 
Froill Jil:5grace his 11lenll>ry's saved Ly thee; 
Lo, his spirit sighs froIll ou t its cell: 
BE A MAN, NOR SEEK TO FOLLO'\V ME. 


TENDER thoughts and s\veet recollection, 
That is life in its greatest perfection. 


TRILOGY OF PASSION. 


I. TO '\VERTHER. 


[This poem, written at the age of seventy-five, was appended 
to an edition of " \\... erther;' publbhed at that time.] 


ONCE more, then, nluch-\yept shado\v, thou dost dare 
Boldly to face the day's clear light, 
To meet me on fresh biooining meadows fair, 
And dost not tremble at my sight. 
Those happy tÜnes appear returne(l once more, 
\Vhen on one field we quaffed refreshing dew, 
And, when the day's ull\velcOllle toil were o'er, 
The farewell sunLeams blessed our ravished view; 
Fate bade thee go, - to linger here \vas nlÌne,- 
Going the first, the smaner loss was thine. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


247 


The life of man appears a glorious fate: 
The day how lovely and the night ho,v great! 
Anù 'we 'mid Paradise-like raptures placed, 
The sun's Lright glory scarce have learned to taste, 
'\Vhen strange contending feelings diInly cover, 
Now us, and no\v the forms that round us hover; 
One's feelings by no other are supplied, 
'Tis dark \vithout, if all is bright inside; 
An out\var-ù brightness veils Iny saddened n100d, 
When Fortune smiles, - how seldom understood! 


N ow think \ve that we kno\v her, and with might 
A woman's beauteous form instils delight; 
The youth, as glad as in his infancy, 
The spring-tinle treads, as though the spring were he. 
l-tavishéd, amazed, he asks, how this is done? 
JIe looks around, the \vorld appears his own. 
'\Vith careless speed he wanders on through space, 
N or walls, nor palaces can check his race; . 
As some gay flight of birds round tree-tops plays, 
So 'tis with him who round his n1Ïstress strays; 
He seeks from Æther, ",-hich he'd leave behind him, 
The faithful look that fondly serves to bind him. 


Yet first too early ,yarned, and then too late, 
He feels his flight restrained, is captured straight; 
To meet again is sweet, to part is sad, 
Again to meet again is still Inore glad, 
And years in one short 1l101nent are enshrined; 
But, oh, the harsh farewell is hid behind! 


Thou smilest, friend, with fitting thoughts inspired; 
By a dread parting was thy fame acquired; 
Thy nlournful destiny we sorro\ved o'er, 
For weal and woe thou left'st us evermore, 
And then again the passions' wavering force 
Drew us along in labyrinthine course; 



24 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And \ve, consumed by cO:Q.stant nüsery, 
At length must part - and parting is to die! 
How llloving is it, when the minstrel sings, 
To 'scape the death that separation brings! 
Oh, grant, SOIne god, to one who suffers so, 
To tell, half-guilty, his sad tale of \voe! 


II. ELEGY. 


When Ulan had ceased to utter his lament, 
A god then let nle teB my tale of sorrow. 


WHAT hope of once Inore meeting is there now 
In the still-closèd blossonls of this day? 
Eoth heaven and hell thrown open seest thou; 
'\Vhat \va vering thoughts \vithin the LOSOli play!- 
No longer doubt! Descending fronl the sky, 
She lifts thee in her arms to reahns on high. 


And thus thou into Paradise wert brought, 
As worthy of a pure and endless life; 
Nothing \vas left, no \vish, no hope, no thought, 
Here was the boundary of thine inlnost strife: 
And seeing one so fair, so glorified, 
The fount of yearning tears \vas straight\vay dried. 


No nlotion stirred the day's revolving \vheel, 
In their o,vn front the minutes seemed to go; 
The evening kiss, a true and binding seal, 
N e'er changing till the nlorrow's sunlight glow. 
The hours resemùled sisters as they went, 
Yet each one fron1 another different. 


The last hour's kiss, so sadly s\veet, effaced 
A beauteous network of entwining love. 
N ow on the threshold pause the feet, now haste, 
As though a fialning cherub bade thenl move; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


The un\villing eye the dark road wanders o'er 
Back\vard it looks, but closed it sees the door. 


And no\v within itself is closed this breast, 
A.s though it ne'er \vere open, and as though, 
Y" ying \vith ev'ry star, no nlOlnents blest 
Had, in its presence, felt a kindling glow; 
Sadness, reproach, repentance, 'weight of care, 
Hang heavy on it in the sultry air. 


Is not the world still left ? The rocky steeps, 
Are they \vith holy shades no longer cro\vned ? 
Grows not the harvest ripe? No longer creeps 
The espalier by the strearn, - the copse around? 
IJoth not the \vondrous arch of heaven still rise, 
:N O\V rich ill shape, no\v shapeless to the eyes? 


As, seraph-like, from out the dark clouds' chorus, 
"-'1th softness \yoven, graceful, light, and fair, 
HeseulLling Her, in the blue ather o'er us, 
,1\, slender figure hovers in the air,- 
Thus didst thou see her joyously advance, 
The fairest of the fairest in the dance. 


Yet but a nloment dost thou boldly dare 
To clasp an airy fOl'ln instead of hers; 
Back to thine heart! thou'lt find it better there, 
:For there hl changeful guise her Ünage stirs; 
What erst \vas one, to 111auy turneth fast, 
In thousand fornls, each ùearer than the last. 


As at the door, on meeting, lingered she, 
And step by step Iny faithful ardour blessed, 
For the last kiss herself entreated I11e, 
And on Iny lips the last, last kiss Ï1npressed,- 
Thus clearly traced, the loved one's form we view, 
With flames en graven on a heart so true,- 


249 



25 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


A heart that, firnl as some embattled tower, 
T tself for her, her in itself reveres, 
For her rejoices in its lasting po\ver, 
Conscious alone, \vheu she herself appears; 
Feels itself freer in so s\veet a thrall, 
And only beats to give her thanks in all. 


The po\ver of loving, and all yearning sighs 
For love responsive were effaced and drowned; 
'\Vhile longing hope for joyous enterprise 
'Vas forllled, and rapid action straightway found 
If love can e'er a loving one inspÜ'e. 
Most lovingly it gave me now its fire; 


And 'twas through her! - an inward sorrow lay 
On soul and body, heavily opvressed 
 
To mournful phantoms was my sight a prey, 
In the drear void of a sad tortured Lreast; 
No\v on the ,veIl-known threshold Hope hath smiled, 
Herself appeareth in the sunlight n1Ïld. 


Unto the peace of God, ,vhich, as we read, 
Blesseth us more than reason e'er hath done, 
Love's happy peace \vould I cOlnpare indeed, 
When in the presence of the dearest one. 
There rests the heart, and there the sweetest thought, 
The thought of being hers is checked by nought. 


In the pure bosom doth a yearning float, 
Unto a holier, purer, unkno\vn Being 
Its grateful aspirations to devote, 
The Ever-Nameless then unriddled seeing; 
We call it: piety! - such blest delight 
I feel a share in, when before her sight. 


Before her sight, as 'neath the sun's hot ray, 
Before her breath, as 'neath the spring's soft wind, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


25 1 


In its deep wintry cavern melts away 
Self-love, so long in icy chains confined; 
No selfishness and no self-"vill are nigh, 
For at her aùvent they were forced to fly. 


It seenlS as though she said: "As hours pass by 
They spread before us life with kindly plan; 
Snlall kno\vledge did the )Testerday liupply, 
To kno\v the morrow is concealed from man; 
And if the thought of evening Inade me start, 
The sun at setting gladdened straight lIlY heart. 


" Act, then, as I, and look, with joyous mind, 
The monleut in the face; nor linger thou! 
l\1eet it \vith speed, so fraught \vith life, so kind 
In action, and inJove so radiant llO\V; 
Let all things be '\vhere thou art, childlike ever, 
Thus thou'lt be all, thus thou'lt be vanquished never." 


Thou speakest "V en, methought, for as thy guide 
The monlellt's favour did a god assign, 
And each one feels hinlself, \vhen by thy side, 
Fate's favourite in a moment so divine; 
I tremble at thy look that bids me go, 
\Vhy should I care such wisùom vast to know? 


N ow am I far! And what would best befit 
The present minute? I could sGarcely tell; 
Full many a rich possession offers it, 
These hut offend, and I \vould fain repel. 
Yearnings unquenchable still drive me on, 
All counsel, save unbounded tears, is gone. 


Flow on, flow on in never-ceasing course, 
Yet nlay ye never quench 111Y in ward fire! 
Within my bosonl heaves a mighty force, 
Where death and life contend in conI bat dire, 



25 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


l\ledicines may serve the body's pangs to still; 
N ought but the spirit fails in strength of will,- 


Fails in conception; \vherefore fails it so ? 
A thousand times her image it portrays; 
Enchanting no\v, and now cOlnpelled to go, 
N ow indistinct, now clothed in purest rays! 
How could the sIllallest comfort here be flowing? 
The ebb and flood, the cOIning and the going! 


Leave me here no\v, Iny life's companions true! 
Leave nle alone on rock, in llloor and hea th ; 
But courage! open lies the \vorld to you, 
The glorious heavens al)ove, the earth beneath; 
Observe, investigate, \vith searchillg eyes, 
And nature will disclose her mysteries. 


To n1e is all, I to myself am lost, 
Who the inllnortals' favourite erst \vas thought; 
They, tempting, sent Pandoras to nlY cost, 
So rich in \vealth, \vith danger far more fraught; 
They urged me to those lips, with rapture cro\vned, 
Deserted me, and hurled me to the ground. 


III. ATONEMENT. 


[Composed, when seventy-four years olù, for a Polish lady, 
who excelled in playing on the pianoforte.] 


PASSION brings reason, - who can pacify 
An anguished heart \vhose loss hath been so great? 
Where are the hourR that fled so 
nviftly by ? 
III vain the fairest thou dic1st gain frolll Fate; 
Sad is the soul, confused the enterprise; 
The glorious \vorld l how on the sense it dies! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


253 


In million tones entwined for evernlore 
l\1usic with angel-pinions hovers there, 
To pierce Ilian's being to its inmost core, 
Eternal beauty as its fruit to bear; 
The eye gro\vs moist, in yearnings blest reveres 
The godlike worth of music as of tears. 


And so the lightened heart soon learns to see 
That it still lives, and beats, and ought to beat, 
Offering itself with joy and \villingly, 
In grateful paYInent for a gift so sweet. 
And then was felt, - oh, nIa,} it constant prove!- 
The twofold bliss of music and of love. 


THE remenlbrance of the Good 
Keep us ever glad in nlood. 


The relnenlbrance of the Fair 
Makes a mortal rapture share, 


The remembrance of one's Love 
Blest is, if it constant prove. 


The reillerllbrance of the One 
Is the greatest joy that's kno\vn, 


[Written at the age of seventy-seven.] 
WHEN I ,vas still a youthful wight, 
So full of enjoyrnent and merry, 
The painters used to assert, in spite, 
That IllY fpatures were small - yes, very; 
Yet then fulllnany a beauteous child 
\Vith true affection upon me slllÏled. 



254 


POE,v\S OF GOETHE 


Now as a graybeard I sit here in state, 
By street and by lane held in a \ve, sirs; 
And may be seen, like old Frederick the Great, 
On pipe bowls, on cups, and on saucers. 
Yet the beauteous maidens, they keep afar; 
Oh, vision of youth! Oh, golden star! 


FOR EVER. 


THE happiness that man, whilst prisoned here, 
Is wont with heavenly rapture to cOlnpare, _ 
The hannony of Truth, from wavering clear, - 
Of Friendship that is free frOlll doubting care,- 
The light \vhi
h in stray thoughts alone can cheer 
The \vise, - the bard alone in visions fair,- 
In IllY best hours I found in hcp all this, 
And Inade mine own, to n1Ïne exceeding bliss. 


LINES ON SEEING SCHILLER'S SI{ULL. 


[This curious imitation of the ternary metre of Dante was 
written at the age of seventy -seven.] 


WITHIN a gloomy charnel-house one day 
I viewed the countless sknll:4, so strangely Il1ated, 
And of old tinJes I thought that now were gray. 
Close packed they stand that once so fiercely hated, 
And hardy bones that to the death contended 
Are lying crossed, - to lie for ever, fated. 
What held those crooked shoulder-blades suspended 1 
No one now asks; anù IÜn bs \vith vigour fired, 
The hand, the foot - their use in life is ended. 
Vaillly ye sought the tomb for rest when tired; 
Peace in the grave may not be yours; ye're driven 
Back into daylight by a force inspired; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


255 


But none can love the withered husk, though even 
A glorious noble kernel it containèd. 
To rne, an adept, \yas the writing given 
Which not to all its holy sense explainèd. 
When 'nÜd the crowd, their icy shadows flinging, 
I saw a forrn that glorious still rernaillèd, 
And even there, \vhere rnould and danlp were clinging, 
Gave rne a blest, a rapture-fraught emotion, 
As though frorn death a living fount \vere springing. 
What mystic joy I felt! \Vhat rapt devotion! 
That form, how pregnant 'with a godlike trace! 
A look, ho\v did it ,,-hirl me toward that ocean 
Whose rolling billows nÚghtier shapes embrace! 
l\1ysterious vessel! Oracle how dear! 
Even to grasp thee is my hand too base, 
Except to steal thee from thy prison here 
\Vith pious purpose, and devoutly go 
Back to the air, free thoughts, and sunlight clear. 
\Vhat greater gain in life can Inan e'er know 
Than \vhen God- X ature 'will to hin1 explain 
How into Spirit steadfastness may flow, 
How steadfast, too, the Spirit-Born remain. 


O
 THE DIV AN. 


HE who knows hirnself and others 
Here \viR also see, 
That the East alld vVest, like brothers, 
Parted ne'er shall be. 


Thoughtfully to float for ever 
'Tween two \vorlds, be man's endeavour! 
So bet\veen the East and \Yest 
To revolve, be my behest 
 



25 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


ROYAL PRAYER. 


HA, I anl the lord of earth! The noble, 
Who're in 111Y service, love TIle. 
Ha, I aln the lord of earth! The noble, 
O'er whonl my sway extendeth, love I. 
Oh, grant me, God in Heaven, that I may ne'er 
Dispense with loftiness and love! 


HUMAN FEELINGS. 


AH, ye gods! ye great iInmortals 
In the slJacious heavens above us ! 
Would ye on this earth Lut give us 
Steadfast Ininds and dauntless courage, 
We, oh, kindly ones, would leave you 
All your spacious heavens above us! 


EXPLANATION OF AN ANCIENT "\VOODCUT, 
REPnESENTI
G' HANS SACHS'S POETICAL 
l\lISSION. 


[I feel considerable hesitation in venturing to offer this version 
of a poem which Carlyle describes to be " a beautifnl piece (a very 
Hans Sachs beatified, both in character and style), which we wish 
there was any possibility of translating." The reader will be 
aware that Hans Rachs was the celpbraterl minstrel-cohbler of 
Nuremberg. who wrote 208 plays, 1,700 comic tales, and between 
4,000 and 5,000 lyric poems. He flourished throughout almost 
the whole of the sixteenth century.] 


EARL Y within his workshop here, 
On Sundays stands our Inaster dear; 
His dirty apron he puts a\vay, 
And wears a cleanly doublet to-day; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


257 


Lets waxed thread, hammer, and pincers rest, 
And lays his awl within his chest; 
The seventh day he takes repose 
From Inany pulls and many blows. 


Soon as the spring-sun meets his view, 
Repose Legets hiln labour anew; 
He feels that he hulds within his brain 
A little world that broods there amain, 
And that begins to act and to live, 
'Vhich he uuto others would gladly give. 


He had a skilful eye and true, 
And "vas full kind and loving, too. 
:For cOlltenlplation, clear and pure,- 
:For making all his own again, 
ure; 
He had a tongue that charlned \vhen 't"vas heard, 
And graceful and light flowed every \vord; 
Which Blade the ::Jluses in hilll rejoice, 
The 
laster-singer of their choice. 


And no\V a lllaiden entered there, 
\Yith swelling breast, and body fair; 
With footing finn she took her place, 
And llloved \vith stately, noble grace; 


She did not \valk in wanton lllood, 
N or look around with glances le\vd. 
She held a rneasure in her hand, 
Her girdle \vas a golden band, 
A \vreath of corn was on her head, 
Her eye the ùay's bright lustre shed; 
Her nalne is honest Industry, 
Else, ,T ustice, 
fagnanin1Ïty. 


She entered \vith a kindly greeting; 
He felt no ,yonder at the Ineeting, 



25 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


For, kind and fair as she luight be, 
He long had kno\vn her, fancied he. 


" I have selected thee," she said, 
" From all who earth's \vild mazes tread, 
That thou shouldst have clear-sighted sense, 
And nought that's \vrong should e'er COlllInence. 
\Vhen others run in strange confusion, 
Thy gaze shall see through each illusion; 
vVhen others dolefully e0111plain, 
Thy cause \vith jesting thou shalt gain, 
Honour and right shall value duly, 
In everything act siu1ply, truly,- 
Virtue and godlille
s proclaiIn, 
And call all evil by its na111e, 
Nought soften down, atte1l1pt no quibble, 
Nought polish up, nought vainly scribble. 
The world shall stand IJefore thee, then, 
As seen by Albert Durer's ken, 
In Illanlil1ess and rhangeléss life, 
In in\vard strength and fil'lllneSS rife. 
Fair Nature's Genius by the hand 
Shall lead thee on through every land, 
Teach thee each different life to scan, 
Show thee the wondrous 'ways of luan, 
His shifts, confusions, thrustiugs, drubbings, 
Pushings, tearings, pressings, and rubbings; 
The varying 111adne
s of the cre\v, 
The ant-hilI's ravings bring to view; 
But thou shalt see all this expressed, 
As though 't\vere in a lllagic chest. 
Write these things dO,",-n for folk
 on earth, 
In hopes they l1]ay to \vit give birth." - 
Then she a windu\v opened \vide, 
Aud showed a l}1otley cro\vd outside, 
All kinds of beings 'neath the sky, 
As in his writings one may spy. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Our master dear ,vas after this, 
On nature thinking, full of bliss, 
When toward hinl, from the other side 
lIe saw an agèd woman glide; 
The name she bears, Historia, 
l\Iythologia, Fabula; 
With footstep tottering and unstable 
She dragged a large and 'wooden carved table, 
Where, with \vide sleeves and hunlan mien, 
The Lord ,vas catechising seen; 
AdaIIl, Eve, Eden, the Serpent's seduction, 
Gonlorrah and Sodom's a\vful destruction, 
The t\velve illustrious \YOHlen, too, 
That luÏ1Tor of honour brought to view; 
All kinds of bloodthirstiness, Inurder, and sin, 
The t\velve \vicked tyrants also were in, 
And all kinds of goodly doctrine and law; 
Saint Peter with his scourge you saw, 
With the world's ways dissatisfied, 
And by our Lord with pn\ver supplied. 
Her train and dress, behind and before, 
And e'en the seaIns, were painted o'er 
With tales of worlJly virtue and crÌ1Ile,- 
Our IIlaster viewed all this for a time; 
The sight right gladly he Rurveyed, 
So useful for hilIl in his trade, 
Whence he was able to procure 
Example good and precept sure, 
Recounting all wi
h truthful care, 
As though he had been present there. 
His spirit seelHed frorn earth to fly, 
He ne'er had turned away his eye, 
Did he not just behind him hear 
þ.... rattle of bells approaching near. 


And now a fool cloth catch his eye, 
With goat and ape's leap dr
nving nigh
 



59 



260 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


A nlcrry interlude preparing 
\Vith fooleries anù jests unsparing. 
Behind hinl, in a line drawn out, 
lIe dragged all fools, the lean and stout, 
The great and little, the empty and full, 
All too witty, and all too dull, 
A lash he flourished overhead, 
As though a dance of apes he led, 
Abusing theln \vith Litterness, 
As though his \vrath would ne'er grow less. 


'\Vhile on this sight our master gazed, 
His head was growing well-nigh crazed: 
What ,vords for all could he e'er find, 
Could such a nledley be conl hined ? 
Could he continue \vith delight 
For eveI'm ore to sing and 'write? 
When lo! from out a elond's dark bed 
In at the upper \vindow sped 
The Muse, in all her majesty, 
As fair as our loved lnaids \ve see. 
With clearness she around hinl threw 
Her truth, that ever stronger grew. 


"I, to ordain thee conle," she spake: 
" So prosper, and IllY blessing take! 
The holy fire that shllnbering lies 
\Vithin thee, in bright flalues shall rise; 
Yet that thine ever-restless life 
May still with kindly strength be rife, 
I, for, thine in\vard spirit's calnl, 
Have granted nourishillent and balm, 
That rapture nlay ihy soul imbue, 
Like sonle fair blossom bathed in dew." - 


Behind his house then secretly 
Outside the doorw'ay pointed she, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


'Vhere in a shaùy ganlen-llook 
A beauteuus 1uaid \vith duw-ncast look 
Was sittiug \vhere a streaUl ,vas flo\ving, 
'Vith elùer Lushes uear it growing; 
8he sat Leueath an apple-tree, 
Aud nought aroulld her seelHed to see. 
Her lap \vas full of roses fair, 
'\Vhich in a \vreath she t\\iil1ed \vith care, 
And \vith thenl leaves and bl08S0111S bleuùed: 

"'or WhOUl \vas that s\veet \vreath intended? 
Thus sat she, InoJest and retired, 
lIeI' boson1 throbbeù, \vith hupe inspired; 
Such deep foreLodillgs filled her n1Ïlld, 
No rOOl1l for ,vishing could she find, 
And with the thoughts that o'er it flew, 
Perchance a sigh \vas 111Ïngled, too. 
"But why shoulù SOl'l'ü'V clowl thy brow 
 
That, dearest love, vdÜch fills thee now 
Is fraught \vith joy a1Hl ecstasy, 
Prepared in one alone for thee, 
That he within thine eye lllay finù 
Solace ,vhen fortune l,rúves uukind, 
Allli be new-Lorn tbl'ough Il1auy a kiss, 
That he receives ,vith ill \null l)lis:i: 
,\Vhene'er be clasps thee to his breast, 
:1\Iay he froIH all his toils find rest. 
'\Vheu he in thy dear a.r111S shall sink, 
1\Iay he ne\v life and vigour drink: 

"'resh joys of youth shalt thou obtain, 
In Inerry jest rejoice again. 
With raillery and roguish spite, 
Thou no\v shalt tease him, now delighto 
Thus Love will never 1nore gro\v old. 
Thus ,vill the n1Ïnstrel ne'er be cold." 
'Vhile he thus lives, in secret blessed, 
Above hinl in the clouds doth rest 


261 



262 


POEMS OF GOEfHE 


An oak-wreath, verùant and sublÜne, 
Placed on his bro,v ill after-tÏIne; 
While they are banished to the sloug4, 
Who their great master disavow. 


THE FRIENDLY l\lEETING. 


IN spreading mantle to IllY chin concealed, 
I trod the rocky path so steep and gray, 
Then to t.he ,vintry plain I bent Iny "vay 
Uneasily, to flight IllY Losorn steeled. 


But sudden was the ne"v-born day revealed. 
A maiden caIne, in heavenly bright array, 
Like the fair creatures of the poet's lay 
In realnlS of song. IVly yearning heart was healed 1 


Yet turned I thence, till she had on,vard passed, 
'Vhile closer still the folds to draw I tried, 
As though with heat seH-kindled to grow 
"varIn ; 
But follo,ved her. She stood. The die was cast! 
No more \vithin my mantle could I hide; 
I threw it off, - she lay within mine arm. 


IN A WORD. 


THUS to be chained for ever, can I bear? 
A very torment that, in truth, would be. 
This very day Iny new resolve shall see.- 
I'll not go near the lately ,vorshipped Fair. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


26 3 


Yet \vhat excuse, nlY heart, can I prepare 
In such a case, for not consulting thee 1 
But courage! while our SOITO\VS utter we 
In tones \vhere love, grief, gladness have a share. 


But see! the n1Ínstrel's bidding to obey, 
Its nlelody pours forth the sounding lyre, 
Yearning a sacrifice of love to bring. 
Scarce \vould'st thou think it - ready is the lay; 
vVell, but \vhat then 1 l\fethought in the first fire 
We to her presence fle\v, that lay to sing. 


THE l\1.AIDEN SPEAKS. 


Ho,v grave thou lookest, loved one! \vberefore so ? 
Thy nlarble iInage seenlS a type of thee; 
Like it, no sign of life thou givest 111e ; 
COlnpared with thee, the stone appears to glow. 


Behind his shield in anlbush lurks the foe, 
The friend's brow all unruffled \ve should see. 
I seek thee, but thou seekest a \vay to flee; 
Fixed as this sculptured figure, learn to gro\v! 


Tell nle, to \vhich should I the preference pay 1 
l\Iust I fronl both with coldness meet alone 1 
The one is lifeless, thou with life art blest. 
In short, no longer to thro\v \vards away, 
I'll fondly kiss and kiss a lid kiss this stone, 
Till thou dost tear 111e hence with envious breast. 



26 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


GRO\VTH. 


O'ER field and plain, in childhood's artless days, 
Thou sprangest with me on Hlany a spring-l11orn 
fair. 
" For such a daughter, ,vith ,vhat pleasing care, 
Would I, as father, happy d "veIlings raise? " 


And 'when thou on the world didst cast thy gaze, 
Thy joy ,vas then in household toils to share. 
"Why did I trust her, ,vhy she trust nle e'er? 
For such a sister, how I Heaven should praise! " 


Nothing can now the beauteous gro'wth retard; 
Love's glowing fialile ,vithin 111Y breast is fanned. 
Shall I enlbrace her forIu, nlY grief to end? 
Thee as a queen must I, alas, regard: 
So high above me placed thou seem est to stand; 
Before a passing look I meekly bend. 


FOOD IN TRA'TEL. 


IF to her eyes' bright lustr; I were blind, 
No longer ,vould they serve nlY life to gild. 
The ,viII of destiny HUlst be fulfilled,- 
This kno\ving, I ,vithdrew ,vith sal1dened n1Ïnd, 


No further happiness I now could find; 
The forn1er longings of nlY heart were stilled, 
I sought her looks alone, whereon to build 
1Iy joy in life - all else was left behind. 


Wine's genial glo,v, the festal banquet gay, 
Ease, sleep, and friends, all \vonted pleasures glad 
I spurned, till little there relnaiued to prove. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


26 5 


Now cahnly through the 'world I wend lllY way: 
That which I crave may everywhere be had, 
With me I bring the one thing needful-love. 


DEPARTURE. 


WITH many a thousand kiss not yet content, 
At length with one kiss I was forced to go ; 
After that bitter parting's depth of woe, 
I deemed the shore frolll which ll1Y steps I bent, 


Its hills, streallls, d "veIlings, n1ountains, as I went, 
A pledge of joy, till day light ceased to glow; 
Then Oll n1Y sight did blissful visions glow; 
In the dirn-lighted, distant firnlalnent. 


And when at length the sea confined my gaze, 
My ardent longing filled ll1Y heart once more; 
What I had lost un\villingly I sought. 
Then Heaven appeared to shed its kindly rays; 
Methought that all I had possessed of yore 
Remained still mine - that I was reft of nought. 


THE LOVING ONE "TRITES. 


THE look that thy sweet eyes on mine impress, 
The pledge thy lips to n1Ïne convey, - the kiss,- 
He \vho, like rHe, hath knowledge sure of this, 
Can he in aught besiùe find happiness 1 


Ren10ved frOlll thee, friend-severed, in distress, 
These thoughts I vainly struggle to dismiss 
They still return to that one hour of bliss, 
The only one; then tears my grief confess. 



266 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


But Ulla\Vares the tear makes haste to dry: 
He loves, Illethillks, e'en to those glades so still, - 
And shalt not thou to distant lands extend? 
Receive the murmurs of this loving sigh; 
l\ly only joy on earth is in thy will, 
Thy kindly will tow'rd me; a token send! 


LOVINGLY I'll sing of love; 
Ever con1es she from above. 


THE LOVING ONE ONCE l\fORE. 


'\VHY do I o'er IllY paper once more bend? 
Ask not too closely, dearest one, I pray: 
For, to speak truth, I've nothing now to say; 
Yet to thy hands at length 'twill come, dear friend. 


Since I can come not with it, what I send 
l\fy undivided heart shall now convey, 
With all its joys, hopes, pleasures, pains, to-day: 
All this hath no beginning, hath no end. 


Hencefor\vard I may ne'er to thee confide 
Ho\v, far aR thought, \vish, fancy, will, can reach, 
J\Iy faithful heart \vith thine is surely blended. 
Thus stood I once enraptured by thy side, 
Gazed on thee, and said nought. \Vhat need of 
speech ? 
My very being itself was ended. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


26 7 


THE DOUBTERS AND THE LOVERS. 


THE DOUBTERS. 
YE love, and sonnets write! J!'ate's strange behest! 
The heart, its hidùen Ineaning to declare, 
Must seek for l'hYllles, uniting pair \vith pair: 
Learn, children, that the will is \veak, at best. 


Scarcely with freedom the o'erfiowing breast 
As yet can speak, and 'well Inay it beware; 
Tempestuous passions sweep each chord that's there. 
Then once rnore sink to night and gentle rest. 


Why vex yourselves and us, the heavy stone 
Up the steep path but step by step to roll? 
It falls again, and ye ne'er cease to strive. 


THE LOVERS. 
But we are on the proper road alone! 
If gladly is to thaw the frozen soul, 
The fire of love nlust aye be kept alive. 


SHE CANNOT END. 


WHEN unto thee T sent the page all \vhite, 
Instead of first thereon inscribing aught, 
The space thou doubtless filledst up in sport, 
And sent it me to make my joy grow bright. 


As soon as the blue cover met my sight, 
As well becomes a. woman, quick as thought 
I tore it open, leaving hidden nought, 
And read the well-known "yords of pure delight: 



268 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


My ONLY BEI
G! DEAREST HEART! S'VEET CHILD! 
How kindly thou my yearning then didst still 
With gentle words, enthralling me to thee. 
In truth 111ethought I read thy whispers n1Ïld 
Where\vith thou lovingly 111Y soul didst fill, 
E'en to myself for aye ennobling me. 


NEMESIS. 
WHEN through the nations stalks contagion wild, 
\Ve froru thelll cautiously should steal a\vay, 
E'en I have oft \vith ling'rillg and delay 
Shunned lilany an influence, not to be defiled. 


And e'en though l-\ulor oft 111Y hours beguiled, 
At length vvith hin1 preferred I not to play, 
And so, too, with the vvretched SOllS of clay, 
When foul' and three-lined verses they cun1piled. 


But pUllisluuent pursues the scoffer straight, 
As if by serpent-torch of furies led 
From hill to vale, frOln land to sea to fiy. 
I hear the genie's laughter at IllY fate; 
Yet do I find all povter of thinking fled 
In sOllnet-rage and love's fierce ecstasy. 


THE CliRISTl\1:AS - BOX. 


THIS box, mine own sweet darling, thou wilt find 
With many a varied sweetnleat's fornl Rupplied 
 
The fruits are they of holy Christnlas-tide, 
But baked, indeed, for children's use designed. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


26 9 


I'd fain, in speeches s"veet ,,'ith skill combined, 
Poetic sweetmeats for the feast provide ; 
But why in such frivolities confide? 
Perish the thought, with flattery to blind! 
One sweet thing there is still, that from within, 
Within us speaks, - that lllay be felt afar; 
This may be wafted o'er to thee alone. 
If thou a recollection fond canst "vin, 
As if \vith pleasure gleanled each \vell-known star, 
The smallest gift thou Dever wilt disown, 


THE W AR
ING. 


WHEN sounds the trumpet at the Judgment Day, 
And when for ever all things earthly die, 
We must a full and true account supply 
Of ev'ry useless word we dropped in play. 
But what effect will all the "vords convey 
Wherein with eager zeal and lovingly, 
That I 111ight win thy favour, laboured I, 
If on thine ear alone they die a way? 
Therefore, s\veet love, thy conscience bear in mind, 
Renlenlber well ho\v long thou hast delayed, 
So that the 'world such Rufferings may not know. 
If I must reckon, and excuses find 
For all things useless I to thee have said, 
To a full year the J udgnlent Day will grow. 


THE EPOCHS. 


ON Petrarch's heart, all other days before, 
In flaming letters written, was impressed 
GOOD FRIDAY. And on n1ine, be it confessed, 
Is this year's ADYENT, as it passeth o'er. 



27 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I do not now begin, -'- I still adore 
lIeI' \VhOlll I early cherished in my breast, 
Then once again \vith prudence dispossessed, 
And to \vhose heart I'm driven back once more. 


The love of Petrarch, that all-glorious love, 
Was unl'eq uited, and, alas, full 
ad; 
One long Good :Friday 't\vas, one heartache drear '; 
But may n1Y Jnistress' ....-\.d vent ever prove, 
\Vith its palIn-jubilee, so s\veet and glad, 
One endless l\lay-day, through the livelong year! 


CH....1RADE. 


T'
lo words there are, both short, of beauty rare, 
\Vhose sounds our li}Js so often love to frame, 
But which vvith clearness never can proclaim 
The things whose own peculiar stan1p they bear. 
'Tis well in days of age and youth so fair, 
One on the other boldly to inflalne; 
And if those "yords together ]inked w"e name, 
A blissful rapture we discover there. 
But no\v to give thell1 pleasure do [ seek, 
And ill tnyself rny happiness would find; 
I hope in silence, lnlt I hope for this: 
Gently, as loved ones' nalnes, those words to speak, 
To see them both within one inlage Rhrined, 
Both ill one being to elllbrace with bliss. 


THE SOLDIER'S CONSOLATION. 


No ! in truth there's here no 1ack : 
White the bread, the maidens b1ack! 
To another town, next night, 
Black the bread, the 111aidens white! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


27 1 


TO ORIGINALS. 


A FELLo-\V says: "I own no school or college; 
No master lives ,vhOln I acknowledge; 
And pray don't entertain the thought 
That fronl the dead I e'er learnt aught." 
This, if I rightly understand, 
Means: "I'm a blockhead at first hand." 


GENIAL I
IPULSE. 


THUS roll I, never taking ease, 
My tub, like Saint Diogenes, 
N ow serious alll, no,v seek to please, 
N ow love and hate in turDS one sees; 
The n10tives no,v are those, no,v these; 
N O\V nothings, now realities. 
Thus roll I, never taking ease, 
1\ly tub, like Saint Diogenes. 


NEITIIEll THIS NOll THAT. 


IF thou to be a slave shouldst ,vill, 
Thou'lt get no pity, but fare ill; 
And if a master thou wouldst be, 
The ,vorld ,vill vie,v it angrily; 
And if in statu; qIlO thou stay, 
That thou art but a fool they'll say, 


THE WAY TO BEHAVE. 


THOUGH tempers are bad, and peevish folks swear, 
Remember to ruffle thy bl'o,vs, friend, ne'er; 
And let not the fancies of 'VOlllen so fair 
E'er serve thy pleasure in life to impair. 



27 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE BEST. 


WHEN head and heart are busy, say, 
What better can be found? 
Who neither loves nor goes astray, 
Were better under ground. 


AS BROAD AS IT'S LO
G. 


MODEST 111en must ueeds endure, 
And the bold 111Ust hunlbly bo\v; 
Thus thy fate's the same, be SUl'e, 
'Vhether bold or modest thou. 


TIlE RULE O:F LIFE. 


IF thou wouldst live unruffled by care, 
Let not the past tOrInent thee e'er; 
As little as possible be thou annoyed, 
And let the present be ever enjoyed; 
N e'er let thy breast with hate 1>e supplied, 
And to God the future confide. 


THE SAl\fE, EXP .AND ED. 


IF thou wouldst live uuruffied by care, 
Let not the past tOl'1l1ellt thee e'er; 
If any loss thou hast to rue, 
Act ,as though thou \vert born al1e\v; 
Inquire the nleaning of each day, 
What each day lneans, itself \vill say; 
In thine own actions take thy pleasure, 
What others do thou'lt duly treaSllre ; 
N e'er let thy breast \vith hate be supplied, 
And to God the future confide. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


273 


C.A.L
f AT SEA. 


SILENCE deep rules o'er the ,vaters, 
Calmly slumbering lies the nlain, 
While th e sailor views ,vith trouble 
N ought but one vast level plain. 


Not a zephyr is in motion! 
Silence fearful as the grave! 
In the n1Ïghty waste of ocean 
Sunk to rest is every wave. 


IF wealth is gone, - then something is gone! 
Quick, nlake up thy n1Ïnd, 
And fresh \vealth find. 
If honour is gone, - then lnuch is gone! 
Seek glory ,to filld, 
And people then will alter their mind. 
If courage is gone, - then all is gone! 
'Twere better that thou hadst never been born. 


THE PROSPEROUS VOYAGE. 


THE lnist is fast clearing, 
And radiant is heaven, 
Whilst .rßol us loosens 
Our anguish-fraught bond. 
The zephyrs are sighing, 
Alert is the sailor. 
Quick! nin1bly be plying! 
The billows are riven, 
The distance approaches; 
I see land beyond! 



274 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


COURAGE. 


CARELESSLY over the plain away, 
Where by the boldest ll1an no path 
Cut before thee thou canst discern, 
Make for thyself a path I 


Silence, loved one, my heart! 
Cracking, let it not break 1 
Breaking, break not with thee! 


ADMONITION, 


WHEREFORE ever ramble on 
For the Good is lying near. 
Fortune learn to seize alone, 
For that Fortune's ever here, 


MY ONLY PROPERTY. 


I FEEL that rIll possessed of nought, 
Saving the free unfettered thought 
\Vhich from my bosonl seeks to flow, 
And each propitious passing hour 
That suffers llle in all its power 
A loving fate with truth to know. 


MAY each honest effort be 
Cro"
ned \vith lasting constancy, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


275 


OLD AGE. 


OLD age is courteous - no one more: 
For time after tinle he knocks at the door, · 
But nobody says, " Walk in, sir, pray! " 
Yet turns he not fronl the door a\vay, 
But lifts the latch and enters with speed, 
And then they cry, " A cool one, indeed!" 


EPITAPH. 


As a boy, reserved and naughty; 
As a youth, a COX
Olllb anù haughty; 
As a nIan, for action inclined ; 
As a graybeard, fickle in mind, 
Upon thy grave will people read: 
This was a very Ulan, indeed! 


RULE FOR 1\10NARCHS. 


IF men are never their thoughts to employ, 
Take care to provide them a life full of joy; 
But if to some profit and llse thou wouldst bend them, 
Take care to shear theIn, and then defend them. 


PAULO POST FUTURI. 


WEEP ye not, ye children dear, 
That as yet ye are un born: 
For each sorrow and each tear 
Makes the father's heart to nlourn. 



27 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Patiellt be a short time to it, 
Un}Jroduced, and known to none; 
If your father cannot du it, 
By yuur mother 't\vill be done. 


HE \vho with life makes sport, 
Can prosper never; 
Who rules hinlself in nought, 
Is a slave ever. 


THE FOOL'S EPILOGUE. 


1IANY good ,yorks I've done and ended, 
Ye take the praise - I'm not offended; 
For in the \vorld, I've ahvays thought 
Each thing its true position hath sought. 
When praised for foolish deeds an1 I, 
I set off laughing heartily; 
When blanle<l for <loing sonlething good, 
I take it in an easy lllood. 
If son1e one stronger gives me hard blows, 
That it's a jest, 1 feign to suppose; 
But if 'tis oue that's but my own like, 
I kno\v the way such folks to strike. 
When Fortune su1Ïles, I Inen'y grow, 
And sing in dulci jv.bilo ; 
When sinks her \yheel, and tunlLles l11e o'er, 
I think 'tis sure to rise once more. 


In the sunshine of sumn1er 1 ne'er lament, 
Because the \vinter it cannot prevent; 
And \vhen the white snowflakes fall around, 
I don lilY skates, and aln off \vith a bound. 
Though I dissenl LIe as I \vill, 
The sun for lne \vill ne'er stand still; 


, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


277 


The old and wonted course is run, 
Until the \vhole of life is done; 
Each day the servant like the lord, 
In turns comes home, and goes abroad; 
If proud or hUlll ble the line they take, 
They all must eat, drink, sleep, and wake. 
So nothing ever vexes me; 
Act like the fool, and wise ye'll be! 


AUTHORS. 


OVER the meadows, and down the strealn, 
And through the garden-walks straying, 
He plucks the flowers that fairest seem; 
His throb bing heart brooks n 0 delaying. 
His Inaiden then comes - oh, \vhat ecstasy! 
Thy flowers thou givest for one glance of her eye! 


The gard'ner next door o'er the hedge sees the youth: 
" I'ln not such a fool as that, in good truth; 
::\ly pleasure is ever to cherish each flower, 
And see that no birds Iny fruit e'er devour. 
But when 'tis ripe, your money, good neighbour! 
'Twas not for nothing I took all this labour!" 
And such, methinks, are the author-tribe. 
The one his pleasures around hinl strews, 
That his friends, the public, nlay reap, if they choose; 
The other would fain make them all subscribe. 


CAT - PIE. 


WHILE lip is lnarked by vision clear 
Who fathoms Nature's treasures, 
The nlan lllay follow void of fear, 
'Vha her proportions measures. 



27 8 


t:)OEMS OF GOETHE 


Though for one mortal, it is true, 
These trades may both be fitted, 
Yet, that the things thenlselves are two 
l\fust ahvays be adluitted. 


Once on a time there lived a cook 
Whose skill \vas past disputing, 
Who in his head a fancy took 
To try his luck at shooting. 


So, gun in hand, he sought a spot 
Where stores of game were breeding, 
And there ere long a cat be shot 
That on young birds was feeding. 


This cat he fancieù \vas a hare, 
FornÜng a juùgnlent hasty, 
So served it up for people's fare 
Well spiced and in a pasty. 


Yet many a guest with \vrath 'vas filled 
(All \vho had noses tender) : 
The cat that's by the sportsnlan killed 
No cook a hare can render. 


JOY. 


A DRAGON - FLY with beauteous ,ving 
Is hovering o'er a silvery spring; 
I watch its motions with delight,- 
N ow dark its colours seem, now bright, 
Chameleon-like appears now blue, 
N O\V red, and n O\V of greenish hue. 
'Vould it \vonld conle still nearer TIle, 
That I its tints might bettrr see! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


It hovers, flutters, resting ne'er! 
But hu
h! it settles on the mead. 
I have it safe now, I declare! 
And ,,-hen its forIll I closely view, 
'Tis of a sad and dingy blue- 
Such, Joy-Dissector, is thy case, indeed! 


EXPLAN ATION OF AN ANTIQUE GE1\1 


A YOUKG fig-tree its forD1 lifts high 
'Yithin a beauteous garden; 
And see, a goat is sitting by, 
As if he were its warden. 


But, oh, Quirites, ho,v one errs! 
The tree is guanlt'd hadly; 
For rounù the other side there whirl's 
And hums a beetle 111adly. 


The hero with his well-nlailed coat 
NiLbles the branches tall so; 
A mighty longing feels the goat 
Gently to clÜl1b up also. 


And so, my friends, ere long ye see 
The tree all leafless standing; 
It looks a type of n1isery, 
Help of the gods den1anding. 


Then listen, ye ingenuous youth, 
Who hold ,vise sa,vs respected: 
From he-goat and from beetle's tooth 
A tree should be protected! 


279 



280 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


LEGEND. 


THERE lived in the desert a holy man 
To wholn a goat-footed }"'aun one ùay 
Paitl a visit, and thus began 
To his surprise: "I entreat thee to pray 
That grace to lne and nlY friends lnay be given, 
That \ve rnay be able to lllount to I-Ieaven, 
For great is OUf thirst for heavenly bliss." 
The holy man n1ade answer to this: 
" :\luch danger is lurking in thy petition, 
Nor \vill it be easy to gain adlnÜ:;sion ; 
Thou dost not conle \vith all angel's salute; 
,For I see thou \vearest a cloven foot." 
The wild Tnan paused, and then ans'wered he: 
" \Vhat <.loth Iny goat's foot Blatter to thee? 
Full Inany I'vè kno\vn into heaven to pass 
Straight and with ease, with the head of an ass! " 


THE \VRANGLER. 


ONE day a shalneless and inlpudent \vight 
vVent into a shop full of steel \vares bright, 
Arranged with art upon every shelf. 
He fancied they all were llleant for hÏ1nself ; 
And so, while the patient owner stood by, 
The shining goods needs IllUSt handle and try, 
And valued, - for ho\v should a fool better know?- 
The bad things high, and the good ones low, 
And all \vith an easy self-Ratisfied face; 
Then, having bought nothing, he left the place. 


The tradesrnan now felt sorely vexed, 
So when the fellow \vent there next l 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


281 


A lock of steel n1ade quite red hot. 
The other cried upon the spot: 
"Such wares as these, ,vho'd ever buy 1 
The steel is tarnished shalnefully,"- 
Then pulled it, like a fool, about, 
But soon set up a piteous shout. 
"Pray 'v hat's the matter?" the shopnlan spoke; 
The other replied: "Faith, a very cool joke!" 


THE CRITIC. 


I HAD a fellow as my guest, 
Not kno,ving he was such a pest, 
And gave him just DIY usual fare; 
He ate his fill of what was there, 
And for a dessert U1Y best things swallowed, 
Soon as his meal was o'er, ,vhat followed? 
Led by the Deuce, to a neigh bour he went, 
Aud talked of nlY food to his heart's content: 
II The soup rnight surely have had luore spice, 
The meat was ill-bro'\vned, anù the wine wasn't nice." 
A thousand curses alight on his head! 
'Tis a critic, I vow! Let the dog be struck dead! 


THE YELPERS. 


OUR rides in all directions bend, 
For, business or for pleasure, 
Yet yelpings on our steps attend, 
And barkings without 111easnre. 
The dog that in our stable chvells, 
After our heels is striding, 
And all the while his noisy yells 
But show that 'we are riding. 



282 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE STORK'S VOCATION. 


THE stork who worms and frogs devours 
That in our ponds reside, 
Why should he dwell on 'high church towers, 
With which he's not allied? 


Incessantly he chatters there, 
And gives our ears no rest; 
But neither old nor young can dare 
To drive hirn from his nest. 


I humbly ask it, - how can he 
Give of his title proof, 
Save by his happy tendency 
To sell the eh urch' s roof 1 


THE DILETTANTE AND THE CRITIC. 


A BOY a pigeon once possessed, 
In gay and brilliant plunlage dressed; 
He loved it well, and in boyish sport 
I ts food to take from his rnouth he taught, 
And in his pigeon he took such pride, 
That his joy to others he needs must confide. 


An agèd fox near the place chanced to dwell, 
Talkative, clever, and learned as ,veIl; 
The boy his society used to prize, 
Hearing with pleasure his wonders and lies. 


"My friend, the fox, my pigeon must see I " 
He ran, and stretched 'nlongst the bushes lay he. 
, " Look, fox, at nlY pigeon, my pigeon so fair! 
IIis equal I'm sure thou hast looked upon ne'er 1 " 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


28 3 


"Let's see!" - The boy gave it. - "'Tis really not 
bad; 
And yet, it is far from c0l11plete, I must add. 
The feathers, for instance, ho,v short! 'Tis absurd!" 
So he set to ,york straightway to pluck the poor bird. 


The boy screamed. -" Thou must no,v stronger pin- 
ions supply, 
Or else 'twill be ugly, unable to fly." 
Soon 'twas stripped - oh, the villain! - and torn all 
to pieces. 
The boy was heartbroken, - and so nlY tale ceases. 


He who sees in the boy shadowed forth his own case, 
Should be on his guard 'gainst the fox's whole race. 


POETRY. 


GOD to his untaught children sent 
Law, order, kno\vledge, art, from high, 
And every heavenly favour lent, 
The ,vorld's hard lot to qualify. 
They knew not ho,v they should behave, 
For all from Heaven stark-naked came; 
But Poetry their garments gave, 
And then not one had cause for shame. 


CELEBRITY. 


[A satire on hie;; own "
orrows of 1Verther."] 


ON bridges sll1all and bridges great 
Stand 
 epoillucks in every state, 
Of bronze, wood, painted, or of stone, 
Some small as dolls, some giants grown; 



28 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Each passer must worship before N epomuck, 
'Vho to die on a bridge chanced to have the ill-luck 
'\Vhen once a llUln 'with head and ears 
A saint in people's eyes appears, 
Or has been sentenced piteously 
Beneath the hangnlan's haud to die, 
He's as a noted person prized, 
In portrait is in1ll1ortalised. 
Engravings, \voodcuts, are supplied, 
AntI through the \vorld spread far and wide. 
"Upon theln all is seen his name, 
Aud everyone aùnlits his claÏ1n; 
Even the image of the Lord 
Is not \vith gr8ater zeal adored. 
Strange fancy of the hluuau race! 
Half sinner frail, half child of grace, 
We see Herr 'Verther of the story 
In all the pornp of ,voodcut glory. 
His \vorth is first n1ade duly known, 
By having his saù features sho,vn 
At every fair the country round; 
In every alehouse, too, they're found. 
His stick is pointed by each dunce; 
" The ball would reach his brain at once!" 
And each says, o'er his beer and bread: 
"Thank Heaven, that 'tis not we are dead!': 


PLAYING AT PRIESTS. 


WITHIN a town where parity 
Accor,1ing to old forn1 we see,- 
That is to say, \vhere Catholic 
And Protestant no quarrels pick, 
And where, as in his father's dn
\ 
Each worships God in his o,vn ,vay
 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


We Lutheran children used to dwell, 
By songs and serrnons taught as well. 
The Catholic cling-clang in truth 
Sounded more pleasing to our youth, 

-'or all that we encountered there 
To us seemed varied, joyous, fair. 
As children, monkeys, and nlankind 
To ape each other are inclined, 
We soon, the tinle to while away, 
A game at priests resolved to play. 
Their aprons all our sisters lent 

--'or copes, which gave us great content; 
And handkerchiefs eln Lroidered o'er, 
Instead of stoles we also wore; 
Gold paper, whereon beasts were traced, 
The bishop's brow as lllitre graced. 


Through house and garden thus in state 
We strutted early, strutted late; 
Repeating, with all proper unction, 
Incessantly each holy function, 
The best was wanting to the ganle ; 
We knew that a SOllorous ring 
Was here a nlost Üuportant thing; 
But fortune to our rescue canle, 
For on the ground a halter lay; 
We were delighted, and at once 
:Nlade it a bell-rope for the nonce, 
Anù kept it moving all the day; 
In turns each sister and each brother 
Acted as sexton to another; 
All helped to swell the joyous throng; 
The whole proceeded swinln1Ïngly, 
And since no actual bell had we, 
We all in chorus sang, Ding dong! 


28 5 



286 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Our guileless child's-sport long ,vas hushed 
In nlemory's tomb, like some, old lay; 
And yet across IllY 111ind it rushed 
'Vith vristine force the other day. 
The New-Poetic Catholics 
In every point its aptness fix! 


SONGS. 


SONGS are like painted windo,v-panes ! 
In darkness wrnrped the church remains, 
If frOIn the market-place we view it, 
Thus sees the ignoramus through it. 
No wonder that he deems it tame, - 
And all his life 't\vill be tbe saIne. 


But let us now inside repair, 
And greet the holy chapel there! 
At once the whole t:;eeIns clear and bright, 
Each ornament is bathed in light, 
And fraught with meaning to the sight. 
God's children J thus your fortune prize, 
Be edified, and feast your eyes! 


A PARABLE. 


I PICKED a rustic nosegay lately, 
And bore it hOlne,vards, musing greatly; 
'Vhen, heated by my hand, I found 
The heads all drooping to,vard the ground. 
I placed thmn in a well-cooled glass, 
And what a wonder canle to pass! 
The heads soon rai
ed themRel yes once more, 
The stalks were bloon1ing as before, 


\ 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And all were in as good a case 
As when they left their native place. 


So felt I, 'when I wondering heard 
My song to foreign tongues transferred. 


SHOULD E'ER THE LO'VELESS DAY. 


SHOULD e'er the loveless day remain 
Obscured by stOrIns of hail and rain, 
Thy charms thou sho\vest never; 
I tap at \vindow, tap at door: 
Come, loved one, corne! appear once more! 
Thou art as fair as ever! 


A PLAN THE 1fUSES ENTERTAINED. 


A PLAN the 11uses entertained 
Methodically to iUlpart 
To Psyche the poetic art; 
Prosaic-pure her soull'emailled, 
No wondrous sounds escaped her lyre 
E'en in the fairest SUmnIel' night; 
But Amor canle with glance of fire,- 
The lesson soon was learned aright. 


THE DEATH OF THE FLY. 


WITH eagerness he drinks the treacherous potion, 
N or stops to rest, by the first taste misled; 
Sweet is the draught, but soon all power of motion 
He finds has from his tender members fled; 


z87 




88 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


No longer has he strength to plume his wing, 
No longer strength to raise his head, poor thing! 
E'en in enjoYlnent's hour his life he loses, 
His little foot to bear his weight refuses; 
So on he sips, and ere his draught is o'er, 
Death veils his thousand eyes for evermore. 


BY THE RIVER. 
WHEN by the broad stream thou dost dwell, 
Oft shallow is its sluggish flood; 
Then, when thy fields thou tendest well, 
It o'er them spreads its slime and mud. 


The ships descend ere day light wanes, 
The prudent fisher upward goes; 
Round reef and rock ice casts its chains, 
And boys at ,will the path",'ay close. 


To this attend, then carefully, 
And \vhat thou would, that execute! 
Ne'er linger, ne'er o'erhasty be, 
For time moves on \vith n1easured foot. 


EACH road to the proper end 
Runs straight on, \vithout a bend. 


THE FOX AND THE HUNTSMAN. 


HARD 'tis on a fox's traces 
To arrive, midst forest-glades; 
Hopeless utterly the chase is, 
If his flight the huntsn1an aids. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And so 'tis with many a wonder 
(Why A E make Ab in fact), 
Over wlùch we gape and blunder, 
And our head and brains distract, 


THE FROGS. 


A POOL ,vas once congealed with frost; 
The frogs in its deep waters lost, 
No longer ùareù to croak or spring; 
But prolnised, being half asleep, 
If suffered to the air to creep, 
As very nightingales to sing. 


A thaw dissol veù the ice so strong,- 
They proudly steered themselves along, 
When landed, squatted on the shore, 
And croaked as loudly as before. 


THE WEDDING. 


A FEAST was in a village spread,- 
It ,vas a ,vedding-day they said. 
The parlour of the inn I found, 
, And saw the cou}!les whirling round, 
Each lass attended by her lad, 
And all seemeù loving, blithe, and glad; 
But on my asking for the bride, 
A fellow \vith a stare replied: 
L' 'Tis not the place that point to raise! 
We're only dancing in her honour; 
We now have danced three nights and days, 
And not bestowed one thought upon her." 


Whoe' e1' in life elnploys his eyes 
Such cases oft ,vill recoguise. 


28 9 



29 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE FOX AND CRANK 


ONCE two persons uninvited 
Came to join my dinner table; 
For the nonce they lived united, 
Fox and crane yclept in fable. 


Civil greetings passed between us ; 
Then I plucked S0111e pigeons tender 
For, the fox of Jackal-genus, 
Adding grapes in full-grown splendour. 


Long-necked flasks I put as dishes 
For the crane without delaying, 
Filled \vith gold and silver fishes, 
In the lÜnpid water playing. 


Had ye witnessed Reynard planted 
At his flat plate all dennuely, 
Ye with envy nlust have granted: 
" N e' er was such a gounnand, su rely! " 


While the bird, with circumspection, 
On one foot as usual cradled, 
From the flask his fish-refection 
With his bill and long neck ladled. 


One the pigeons praised, - the other, 
As they went, extolled the fishes, 
Each one scoffing at his brother 
For preferring vulgar dishes. 


co 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


29 1 


If thou wouldst preserve thy credit, 
When thou askest folks to guzzle 
At thy board, take care to spread it 
Suited both for bill and muzzle. 


BURIAL. 


To the grave one day from a house they bore 
A maiden; 
To the windo\v the citizens went to explore; 
In splendour they lived, anù with wealth as of yore 
Their banquets \vere laden. 
Then thought they: "The nlaid to the tomb is now 
borne; 
We too from our dwellings ere long D1Ust be torn, 
, And he that is left our departure to mourn, 
To our riches will be the successor, 
For some one must be their possessor." 


THE BUYERS. 


To an apple-woman's stall 
Once some children nimbly ran; 
Longing much to purchase all, 
They with joyous haste began 
Snatching up the piles there raised, 
While with eager eyes they gazed 
On the rosy fruit so nice; 
But \vhen they found out the price, 
Down they threw the whole they'd got, 
Just as if they were red hot. 


The man who gratis will his goods supply 
Will never find a lack of folks to buy! 



29 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SYMBOLS. 


, 


PALM SUXDA Y at the Vatican 
They celebrate with palnls ; 
With reverence bows each holy man, 
And chants the ancient psalms. 
Those very psalms are also sung 
With olive boughs in hand, 
While holly, lllountain wilds anlong, 
In place uf palms must stand; 
In fine, one seeks sonle twig that's green, 
And takes a willow rod, 
So that the pious man may e'en 
In small things praise his God. 
And if ye have observed it well, 
To gain what's fit ye're able, 
If ye in faith can but excel; 
Such are the lnyths of fable. 


THREATENING SIGNS, 


IF Venns in the evening sky 
Is seen in radiant nlajesty, 
If rod-like cOlnets, red as l)looå, 
Are 'mongRt the constellations vie\ved, 
Out springs the Ignnnullus, yelling: 
cc The star's exactly o'er IUY dwelling! 
What woeful prospect, ah, for lile!" 
Then calls his neighbour mournfully: 
"Behold that a\vful sign of evil, 
Portending woe to me, poor devil! 
My nlother's astlllna ne'er will leave her, 
l\ly child is sick \vith wilJd and fever; 
I dread the illness of nlY wife, 
A week has passed, devoid of strife,- 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


293 


And other things have reached nlY ear; 
The Judglnent Day has come, I fear!" 


His neigh bour answers: "Friend, you're right! 
l\latters look very bad to-night. 
Let's go a street or t\VO, though, hence, 
And gaze upon the stars frorn thence."- 
No change appears in either case. 
Let each remain then in his place, 
And wisely do the best he can, 
Patient as any other man. 


THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE. 


"THE n10untain village was destroyèd ; 
But see ho\v soon is filled the void! 
Shingles and boards, as Ly lllagic arise, 
The babe in his craùle and s\vadùling-clothes lies; 
Ho\v blest to trust to God's protection! " 
Behold a wooden ne\v erection, 
So that, if sparks and wind but choose, 
God's self at such a gan1e lllust lose! 


IN the worlù do things go \vith you ill
 
You can't do right, ùo what you \vill. 


THREE P
\LINOI)IAS. 


I. 


"Incense is but a tribute for the gods, - 
To mortals 'tis but poison." 


THE smoke that from thine altar blows, 
Can it the gods offend? 
For I observe thou hold'st thy nose- 
Pray what does this portend? 



294 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Mankind deem incense to excel 
Each other earthly thing, 
So he that cannot bear its smell, 
No incense e'er should bring. 


With unmoved face by thee at least 
To dolls is homage given; 
If not obstructed by the priest, 
The scent mounts up to heaven. 


II. 


CONFLICT OF WIT AND BEAUTY. 
SIR WIT, who is so much esteenled, 
And who is worthy of all honour, 
Saw Beauty his superiot: deeiDed 
By folks who loved to gaze upon her; 
At this he \vas most sorely vexed. 
Then caIne Sir Breath (long known as fit 
To represent the cause of wit), 
Beginning, rudely, I admit, 
To treat the lady with a text, 
To this she hearkened not at all, 
But hastened to his principal: 
" None are so wise, they say, as 
"'ou,- 
Is not the world enough for t\VO ? 
If you are obstinate, good-bye! 
If wise, to love nle you will try, 
For be assured the world can ne'er 
Give birth to a more handsome pair." 


II AÀÀwç. 


FAIR daughters were by beauty reared, 
Wit had but dull sons for his lot; 
So for a season it appeared 
Beauty was constant, Wit was not. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


295 


But Wit's a native of the soil, 
So he l\jtul'ned, worked, strove amain, 
And found - sweet guerdqn for his toil!- 
Beauty to quicken him again. 


III. 


RAIN AND RAINBOW. 


DURING a heavy storm it chanced 
That froln his room a cockney glanced 
At the fierce tenlpest as it broke, 
While to his neighbour thus he spoke: 
" The thunder has our a we inspired, 
Our barns by lightning have been fired,- 
Our sins to punish, I suppose; 
But, in return, to soothe our woes, 
See how the rain in torrents fell, 
Making the harvest promise ,"veIl ! 
But is't a rain bo\v that I spy 
Extending o'er the ùark-gray sky? 
With it rin sure ,"ve Inay dispense, 
The coloured cheat! The vain pretence! " 
Dame Iris straightvv"ay thus replied: 
"Dost dare my beauty to deride? 
In realms of space God stationed me 
A type of better worlds to be 
To eyes that from life's sorrows rove 
In cheerful hope to Heaven above, 
And through the mists that hover here 
God and His precepts blest revere. 
Do thou, then, grovel like the swine, 
And to the ground thy snout confine 
But suffer the enlightened eye 
To feast upon n1Y majesty." 



29 6 


POE,\1S OF GOETHE 


A SYMBOL. 


. 
[This fine poem is given by Goethe amongst a small collection 
of what he calls Loge (Lodge) meaning thereby Masonic pieces.] 


THE nlason's trade 
Reselnbles life, 
With all its strife,- 
Is like the stir made 
By Inan on earth's face. 


Though ,veal and woe 
The future may hide, 
U nterrified 
We onward go 
In ne'er-changing race. 


A veil of dread 
Hangs heavier still. 
Deep sl UIn bel's fill 
The stars overhead, 
And the foot-trodden grave. 


Observe then} ,veIl, 
And watch theln revea1ing 
How solen1n feeling 
And wondern1ent swell 
The hearts of the brave. 


The voice of the blest, 
And of spirits on high 
SeenlS loudly to cry: 
"To do what is beRt, 
Unceasing endeavour! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


'c In silence eterne 
Here chaplets are t\vined, 
That each noble n1Ïud 
Its guerdon nlay earn,- 
Then hope ye for ever! " 


VALEDICTION. 


I ONCE was fond of fools, 
And bid thenl conle each day; 
Then each one brought his tools, 
The carpenter to play; 
The roof to strip first choosing, 
Another to supply, 
The \vood as trestles using, 
To move it by-and-by, 
While here and there they ran, 
And knocked against each other; 
To fret I soon began, 
l\Iy anger could not smother, 
So cried, " Get out, ye fools! " 
At this they \vere offended; 
Then each one took his tools, 
And so our friendship ended. 


Since that I've wiser been, 
And sit beside nJY door; 
When one of thenl is seen, 
I cry, " ..A..ppear no more!" 
"Hence, stupid knave!" I bellow: 
At this he's angry, too: 
" You impudent. old fello\v ! 
And pray, sir, .who are you 1 
Along the streets \ve riot, 
And revel at the fair: 


297 



29 8 


POEl\lS OF GOETHE 


But yet \ve're pretty quiet, 
And folks revile us ne'er. 
Don't call us nanIes, then, please!" 
At length I 111eet \vith ease, 
For now they leave nlY door- 
'Tis better than before! 


THE COUNTRY SCHOOLMASTER. 


I. 
A MASTER of a country school 
JUJllped up one day frolll off his stool 
Inspired with finn resolve to try 
To gain the best society; 
So to the nearest baths he ,walked, 
And into the saloon he stalked. 
He felt quite startled at the door, 
N e'er having seen the like before. 
To the first stranger made he now 
A very low and graceful bow, 
But quite forgot to bear in nlÎnd 
That people alRo stood behind; 
His left-hand neighbour's paunch he struck 
A grievous blo\v by great ill luck; 
Pardon for this he first entreated, 
And then ill haste his bow repeated. 
His right-hand neigh bour next he hit, 
And begged hinl, too, to pardon it; 
But on his granting his petition, 
Another was in like condition; 
These conlplinlents he paid to all, 
Behind, before, across the hall; 
At length one \vho could stand no more 
Showed him impatiently the door. 


. 


. 



POE1\\S OF GOETHE 


1\1ay many, pondering on their crimes, 
A moral draw from this betÜnes ! 


II. 
As he proceeded on his way 
He thought, "I was too ,veak to-day; 
To bow I'll ne'er again be seen; 
For goats ,vill s,vallow what is green." 
Across the fields he llOW lllUst speed, 
Not over stulllpS and stones, indeed, 
But over meads and cornfields s,veet, 
Traillpling do\vn all \vith CIUIllSY feet. 
A farnler lllet hÜn by-and-by, 
And didn't ask hÜn: how? or why? 
But with his fist saluted him. 


" I feel new life in every IÜn b I " 
Our traveller cried in ecstasy. 
"Who art thou who thus gladden'st me ? 
1\1ay Heaven such blessings ever send! 
Ne'er nlay I want a jovial friend!" 


THE LEGEND OF THE HORSESHOE. 


WHEN still unknown, and low as well, 
Our Lord upon the earth did dwell, 
And lnany disciples with him went 
Who seldoln kne\v what his words meant, 
He ,vas extrenlely fond of holding 
His court in the market-place, unfolding 
The high est precepts to their hearing, 
'Vith holy lnouth and heart unfolding; 
For Illan, in Heaven's face ,vhen preaching, 
Adds freedom's strength unto his teaching! 


299 



3 00 


POEi\1S OF GOETHE 


By parables and by example, 
He made each market-place a temple. 
He thus in peace of lllind one day 
To sonle slllall to,vn with them diù stray, 
Sa w something glitter in the street, 
A broken horseshoe lay at his feet. 
He then to Peter turned and said: 
" Pi.ck up that iron in my stead." 
St. Peter out of humour was, 
Having in drea Ins indulged because 
All nlen on thoughts so like to dwell, 
How they the ,vorld would govern well; 
Here fancy revels ,vithout bounds; 
On this his dearest thoughts he founds. 
This treasure-trove he quite despised, 
But crowned sceptre he'd have prized; 
And why shoulù he now bend his back 
To put old iron in bis sack? 
He turned aside with out\vard show 
As though he heard none speaking so ! 


The Lord, to his long-suffering true, 
Hinlself picked up the horse's shoe, 
And of it made no further ll1ention, 
But to the town walked with intention 
Of going to a blacksmith's door, 
Who gave one farthing for his store. 
And now, when through the nlarket strolling" 
C
erries some one he heard extolling. 
Of these he bought as few or lllany 
As farthing buys, if it buy any, 
Which he, in wonted peacefulness, 
Gently within his sleeve did press. 


N ow out at t'other gate they'd gone 
Past fields and meadows, houses none; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 01 


The road like,vise of trees was bare, 
The sun shone bright with ardent glare, 
So that great price, in plain thus stretched, 
A drink of water would have fetched. 
The Lord, walking before thel}) all, 
Let una wares a cherry fall. 
St. :Peter ate it, then and there, 
As though a golden apple it were. 
He relished llluch the luscious fruit. 
The Lord, whenever tiIne would suit, 
Another cherry forward sent, 
For which St. Peter swiftly bent. 
The Lord thus often and again 
After the cherries Inac1e him strain. 
When this had lasted quite awhile, 
The Lord spoke th us 'with cheerful smile: 
"If thou hadst stirred when first I bade thee, 
More comfortable 't,vollld have nlade thee; 
Whoe'er small things too nUlch disdains, 
For smaller ones takes greater pains." 


THE WANDERER. 


rPnbJishpd in the Götting'en Jfu.sen Almanach. having been 
written H to express his feeliugs and caprices" after hIS separa- 
tion from Frederica,] 


\V ANDETI,ER. 
YOUNG wonlan, may God bless thee, 
Thee, and the sucking infant 
Upon thy breast! 
Let me, against this rocky wall, 
Neath the elm-tree's shadow, 
Lay aside nlY burden, 
Near thee take my rest. 



3 02 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


WOMAN. 
What vocation leads thee, 
\Vhile the day is burning, 
Up this dusty path ? 
Bring'st thou goods from out the town 
Round the country? 
Snlilest thou, stranger, 
At my question? 


WANDERER. 
From the town no goods I bring, 
Cool is no\v the evening; 
Sho,v to nle the fountain 
Whence thou drinkest, 
Woman young and kind! 


WOMAN. 
Up the rocky pathway nloun
; 
Go thou first? Across the thicket 
Leads the pathway toward the cottage 
That I Jive in, 
To me the fountain 
Whence I drink. 


\V ANDERER. 
Signs of Inan's arranging hand 
See I 'Inid the trees! 
Not by thee these stones were joined, 
N aiure, who so freely scattered! 


vVO:\IAN, 


Up, still up! 



POE.Y\S OF GOETHE 


3 0 3 


WANDERER. 
Lo, a mossy architrave is here! 
I discern thee, fashioning spirit? 
On the stone thou hast Ílllpressed thy seal 


WOMAN, 
Onward, stranger! 


WANDERER. 
Over an inscription am I treading! 
'Tis effacèd ! 
Ye are seen no longer, 
Words so deeply graven, 
Who your nlaster's true devotion 
Should have shown to thousand grandsons. 


WOMAN. 
At these stones why 
Start'st thou, stranger? 
1\lany stones are lying yonder 
Round my cottage. 


,V ANDERER. 


Yonder? 


WOMAN, 
Through the thicket, 
Turning to the left, 
Here! 


WANDERER, 
Ye 1'1 uses and ye Gl'aces! 



3 0 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


WOMAN. 
This, then, is n1Y cottage. 


WANDERER. 
'Tis a ruined temple! 1 


WOMAN. 
Just below you it, see, 
Springs, the fountain 
Whence I drink. 


,V ANDERER. 
Thou dost hover 
O'er thy grave, all glo,ving, 
Genius! 'v hile u pOll thee 
Hath th y 111asterpiece 
Fallen crunlbliug, 
Thou lmnlortal One I 


'VO
IAN. 
Stay, a cup I'll fetch thee 
Whence to th'ink. 


WANDERER. 
Ivy circles thy slender 
}"orrn so graceful and godlike. 


1 Compare with the beautiful description contained in the sub- 
sequent lines, an account of a ruined temple of Ceres. given by 
Chamberlayne in his "!'harolluiùa" (published in 1659) : - 


". . . 'Vith mournful majesty 
A heap of solitary ruins lie, 
Half sepulchred in dust, the bankrupt heir 
To prodigal antiquity . . ." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


How ye rise on high 
From the ruins, 
Column-pair! 
And thou, their lonely sister yonder,- 
How thou, 
Dusky moss upon thy sacred head,- 
Lookest down in nlournful majesty 
On thy brethren's figures, 
Lying scattered 
At thy feet I 
In the shadow of the bramble 
Earth and rubbish veil them, 
Lofty grass is waving o'er thenl! 
Is it thus thou, Nature, prizest 
Thy great nlasterpiece's masterpiece 1 
Carelessly destroyest thou 
Thine own sanctuary, 
Sowing thistles there? 


WOMAN. 
How the infant sleeps! 
Wilt thou rest thee in the cottage, 
Stranger? Wouldst thou rather 
In the open air still linger ? 
N ow 'tis cool! take th au the child, 
While I go and draw some water. 
Sleep on, darling! sleep 1 


WANDERER. 
Sweet is thy repose! 
How, \vith heaven-born health imbued, 
Peacefully he slumbers! 
o thou, born among the ruins 
Spread by great antiquity, 
On thee rest her spirit! 
He whom it encircles 


3 0 5 



3 06 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Will, in godlike consciousness, 
Every day en joy. 
Full of gernl, unfold 
As the sn1Íling spring-tiIne's 
Fairest charm, 
Outshining all thy fellows! 
And when the blossom's husk is faded, 
l\lay the full fruit shoot forth 
Fronl out thy breast, 
And ripen in the sunshine! 


WOMA
. 
God bless him! - Is he sleepi,ng still? 
To the fresh draught I nought call add, 
Saving a crust of bread for thee to eat. 


,V ANDERER. 
I thank thee well. 
How fair the verdure all around, 
How green! 


WOMAN. 
My husband soon 
Will hon1e return 
From labour. Tarry, tarry, man, 
And with us eat our evening meal. 


WANDERER. 
Is it here ye dwell ? 


WOMAN. 
Yonder, ,vithin those wal1s, ""e live. 
My father 'twas ,vho built the cottage 
Of tiles and stones from out the ruins. 
'Tis here we dwell. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 0 7 


He gave me to a husbandman, 
And in our arrns expired. - 
Hast thou been sleeping, dearest heart? 
How lively, and how full of play, 
Sweet rogue! 


,V ANDERER. 
Nature, thou ever budding one, 
Thou forrnest each for life's enjoyments, 
And, like a mother, all thy children dear 
Blessest with that sweet heritage, - a home. 
The swallow builds the cornice round, 
Unconscious of the beauties 
She plasters up. 
The caterpillar spins around the bough, 
To lllake her brood a winter house; 
And thou <lost patch, between antiquity's 
Most glorious relics, 
For thy lllean use, 
o man, a hUluble cot,- 
Enjoyest e'en mid tombs I 
Farewell, thou happy woman! 


'VO
AN. 
Thou wilt not stay, then? 


,V ANDERER. 
May God preserve thee, 
And bless thy boy I 


WOMAN. 
A happy journey I 


WANDERER. 
Whither conducts the path 
Across yon hill ? 



3 08 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


\YOMAN. 


To Cuma. 


\V ANDERER. 
How far from hence? 


\VOMAN. 
'Tis full three miles. 


WANDERER. 


Farewell ! 
o Nature, guide 11le on lny way! 
The wandering stranger guide, 
Who o'er the tOlnbs 
Of holy bygone times 
Is passing, 
To a kind sheltering place, 
FroIn North winds safe, 
And where a poplar grove 
Shuts out the noontide ray! 
And when I come 
Home to lny cot 
At evening, 
Illumined by the setting SUD, 
I..jet file elnbrace a wife like this, 
Her infant in her arn1s! 


THE DROPS OF NECTAR 


WHEN Minerva, to give pleasure 
To Prometheus, her well-loved one, 
Brought a brimming bowl of nectar 
From the glorious realnls of heaven 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


As a blessing for his creatures, 
And to pour into their bosonls 
Impulses for arts enno hling, 
She with rapid footstep hastened, 
Fearing Jupiter might see her, 
And the golden goblet trenlbled, 
And there fell a few drops frOIn it 
On the verdant plain beneath her. 
Then the busy bees flew thither 
Straightway, eagerly to drink theIn, 
And the butterfly came quickly 
That he, too, nlight find a drop there; 
Even the Inissha pen spider 
Thither crawled and sucked \vith vigour. 


To a happy end they tasted, 
They, and other gentle insects: 
For with nlortals no\v divide they 
Art - that noblest gift of all. 


LOVE AS A LANDSCAPE PAINTER. 


ON a rocky peak once sat I early, 
Gazing on the mist \vith eyes unnloving ; 
Stretched out like a pall of grayish texture, 
All things round, and all above it covered. 


Suddenly a boy appeared beside me, 
Saying" }'rienc1, what nleanest thou by gazing 
On the vacant pall with such conlposuTe ? 
Hast thou lost for evernlore all pleasure 
Both in painting cunningly, and forming?" 
On the child I gazed, and thought in secret: 
" Would the boy pretend to be a master?" 


3 0 9 



3 10 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" W ùuldst thou be for ever dull and idle," 
Said the boy, "no 'wisdoln thou'lt attain to; 
See, I'll straightway paint for thee a figure,- 
How to paint a beauteous figure, show thee." 


And he then extended his forefinger- 
(Ruddy was it as a youthful rosebud) 
To\vard the broad and far outstretching carpet, 
And began to draw there with his finger. 


First on high a radiant sun he painted, 
Which upon mine eyes with splendour glistened, 
And he made the clouds with golden Lurder. 
Through the clouds he let the sun beanls enter; 


Painted then the soft and feathery summits 
Of the fresh and quickened trees; behind them 
One by one with freedom drew the mountains; 
Underneath he left no lack of \vater, 
But the river painted so like Nature, 
That it seemed to glitter in the sun beams, 
That it seemed against its banks to murmur. 


Ah, there blossomed flowers beside the river, 
And bright colours gleamed upon the meadow, 
Gold, and green, and purplL\ and enalnelled, 
All like carbuncles and ell18ralds seeming; 


Bright and clear he added then the heavens, 
And the blue-tinged n10untains far and farther, 
So that I, as though new-born, enraptured 
Gazed on llO\V the painter, now the picture. 


Then spake he: "Although I have convinced thee 
That this art I understand fun surely, 
Yet the hardest still is left to show thee." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 11 


Thereupon he traced with pointeù finger, 
And \vith anxious care, upon the forest, 
At the ntlllost verge, where the strong sun beams 
Fronl the shining ground apJ?eared reflected, 
Traced the figure of a lovely Hlaiden, 
:E'air in fonn, and clad in graceful fashion; 
Fresh the cheeks beneath her bro\vn locks' anlbush, 
And the cheeks possessed the self-sanle colour 
As the finger that haù served to paint thenl. 


" 0 thou boy!" exclainled I then, "what master 
In his school received thee as his J?upil, 
Teaching thee so truthfully and quickly 
Wisely to begin, and well to finish?" 


Whilst I still was speaking, 10, a zephyr 
Softly rose, and set the tree-tops llloving, 
Curling all the wavelets on the river, 
And the perfect maiden's veil, too, filled it, 
And to make lIlY \VOnderlIlent still greater, 
Soon the nlaiden set her foot in motion. 
On she came, approaching toward the station 
Where still sat I with IllY arch instructor. 


As now aU, yes, al1 thus moved together,- 
Flowers, rivers, trees, the veil, - all moving,- 
And the gentle foot of that nlost fair one, 
Can ye think that on my rock I lingered, 
Like a rock, as though fast-chained and silent 1 



3 12 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


GOD, SOUL, AND WORLD. 


RHYMED DISTICHS. 


[The Distichs, of which these are given as a specimen, are about 
forty ill nUll bel'.] 


Ho\v? \vhen? and \vhere? - :No answer comes from 
high; 
Thou ,vaitest for the Because, and yet thou askest not 
1Vky 1 


IF the whole is ever to gladden thee, 
That ,vhole in the slIlallest thing th
u IHUSt see. 


vV ATEU its living strength first sho\vs, 
When obstacles its course o:vpose. 


TRANSPARENT appears the radiant air, 
Though steel aDd stone in its breast it nlay bear; 
At length they'll nleet with fiery power, 
And nletal anù stones on the earth will sho\ver. 


WHATE'ER a living flanle nIa)'" surround, 
No longer is shapeless, or earthly bound. 
'Tis now invisible, flies from earth, 
And hastens on high to the place of its birth, 


THIS truth rnay be by all believed: 
Whom God deceives, is ,yell deceived. 


WHO trusts in God, 
Fears not His rod. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 1 3 


THE J\IETAl\IORPHOSIS OF PI.jA
TS. 


THOU art confused, nlY belovèd, at seeing the thousand- 
fold union 
Shown in this flowery troop over the garùen dis- 
persed ; 
J\1any a naine dost thou hear assigned; one after 
another 
Falls on thy listening ear, with a barbarian sound. 
None 1'e8en1 bleth another, yet all their fonus have a 
likeness; 
Therefore a mystical law is by the chorus pro- 
claÏ1n ed ; 
Yes, a sacred enignla! Oh, dearest friend, could 1 only 
lIappily teach thee the ,vord, which lnay the nlYs- 
tery solve! 
Closely observe bow the plant, by little and little pro- 
gressIng, 
Step by step guided Oll, changeth, to hloSSOll1 and 
fruit! 
First froul the seed it unravels itself, as soon as the 
silent 
}-"'ruit-bearing WOIllb of the earth kindly allows its 
esca pe, 
And to the channs of the light, the holy, the ever-in- 
Inotion, 
Trusteth the delicate leaves, feebly beginning to 
shoot. 
Sinlply slulnbered the force in the seed; a genn of the 
future, 
Peacefully lockel1 in itself, 'neath the integument 
lay, 
Leaf, and root, and bud, still void of colour, and shape- 
less; 
Thus doth the kernel, ,vhile dry, covel' that motion- 
less life. 



3 1 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Upward then strives it to swell, In gentle Inoisture 
confiding, 
And, from the night where it dwelt, straight\vay 
ascendeth to light. 
Yet still sinlple renlaineth its figure, when first it ap- 
peareth ; 
And 'tis a token like this, points out the child 'mid 
the plants. 
Soon a shoot, succeeding it, rises on high, and re- 
neweth, 
Piling up node upon node, ever the prin1Ítive fornl; 
Yet not ever alike; for the following leaf, as thou 
seest, 
Ever proc1uceth itself, fashioned in Inanifold ways. 
Longer, lllore indented, in points and in parts more 
di vided, 
'Vhich, all-deforilled until llOW, slept in the organ 
behnv. 
So at length it attaineth the noble and destined per- 
fection, 
Which, in full many a tribe, fills thee \vith wonder- 
Ing a we. 
1vlany ribbed and toothed, on a surface juicy and 
s\velling, 
Free and unending the shoot seemeth in fulness 
to be; 
Yet here Nature restraineth, with powerful hands, the 
forlnation, 
And to a perfect end, guided with softness its 
growth, 
Less abundantly yielding the sap, contracting the 
vessels, 
So that the figure ere long gentler effects doth dis- 
close. 
Soon anù in silence is checked tbe growth of the vig- 
orous branches, 
And the rib of the stalk fuller becoilleth in forin. 


" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 1 5 


Leafless, ho\vever, and quick the tenderer steIn then 
u pspringeth, 
And a Iniraculous sight doth the observer enchant. 
Ranged in a circle in nunlbers that now are snlall, and 
no\v countless, 
Gather the snlall-sized leaves close by the side of 
their like. 
Round the axis conlpressed the sheltering calyx un- 
foldeth, 
And, as the perfectest type, brilliant-hued coronals 
fonlls. 
Thus doth Nature blooln, in glory still nobler and 
fuller, 
Showing, in order arranged, nlelll bel' on member 
u preared. 
W onderIuent fresh dost thou feel, as soon as the sten) 
rears the flower 
Over the scaffolJing frail of the alternating leaves. 
But this glory is only the ne\v creation's foreteller, 
Yes, the leaf with its hues feeleth the hand all 
divine, 
And on a sudden contracteth itself; the tenderest 
fi o'ures 
b , 
Twofold as yet, hasten on, destined to blend into 
one. 
Lovingly no\v the beauteous pairs are standing to- 
gether, 
Gathered in countless array, there ,vhere the altar is 
raised. 
Hymen hovereth o'er them, and scents delicious and 
migh ty 
Stream forth their fragrance so sweet, all things 
enli vening around. , 
Presently, parcelled out, Ullllulubered germs are seen 
swelling, 
S\veetly concealed in the 'VOlllb, where is nlade per- 
fect the fruit. 



3 16 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Here doth Nature close the ring of her forces eternal; 
Yet doth a ne,v one, at once, cling to the one gone 
before, 
So that the chain be prolonged for ever through all 
generations, 
And that the whole may have life, e'en as enjoyed 
by each part. 
N ow, IllY belovèd one, turn thy gaze on the Il1any-hued 
thousands 
Which, coufusiug no 1110re, g]adden the ulÍud as they 
wa ve. 
Every plant uuto thee proclain1eth the la\vs everlasting, 
Every floweret speaks louder and louder to thee; 
Rut if thou here canst decipher the mystic ,vords of 
the goddess, 
Every\vhere will they be seeu, e'en though the fea- 
tures are changed. 
Creeping insects lTIay linger, the eager butterfly 
hasten, - 
Plastic and furnlÏng, lnay rnan change e'en the figure 
decreed, 
Oh, then, bethink thee, as \vell, ho\v out of the gerrn 
of acquain tauce, 
Kindly intercourse sprang, slow ly unfolding its 
lea ves ; 
Soon how friendship with might unveiled itself in our 
boson1s, 
And how AUlaI' at length brought forth blossorD and 
fruit! 
Think of the ll1anifold '" ays wherein Nature hath lent 
to our feelings," " 
Silently giving them birth, either the first or the 
last ! 
Yes, and rejoice in the present day! }
or love that is 
holy 
Seeketh the noblest of fruits, - that where the 
thoughts are the same, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 1 7 


Where the opinions agree, - that the pair may, in rapt 
contemplation, 
Lovingly blend into one, - find the more excellent 
wor lù. 


RELIGIO
 AND CHURCH. 


THOUGHTS ON JESrS CHRIST'S DESCEXT INTO HELL. 


[The remarkable poem, of which this is a literal but faint repre- 
sentation, was written when Goethe was OIl]Y sixteen years old. 
It derives additiollal interest from the fact uf its being the very 
earliest piece of his that is preserved, The few other pieces in- 
cluded by Goethe under the title of H Heligion aud Church" are 
polemical, and devoid of interest to the English reader.] 


'VUAT wondrous noise is heard around! 
Through heaven exulting voices sound, 
A nÜghty arnlY Inarches on. 
By thousand n1Ïllions followed, 10, 
To yon dark place Inakes haste to go 
(lod's Son, descending froln His throne! 
He goes - the telnpests round HÜn break, 
As tJ udge and Hero COll1eth He ; 
He goes - the constellations quake, 
The sun, the world quake fearfully. 


I see Him in His victor-car, 
On fiery axles borne afar, 
\Vho Oll the cross for us expired. 
The triurnph to yon reahns lIe shows,- 
Rernote frOln earth, \vhere star ne'er glows,- 
The triunlph He for us acquired. 
He cometh, Hell to extirpate, 
VVhOlll He, Ly dying well-nigh killed; 
He shall prononnce her fearful fate; 
Hark! no\v the curse is straight fulfilled. 



3 18 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Hell sees the victor CODle at last, 
She feels that now her reign is past, 
She quakes and fears to lueet His sight; 
She kno,vs His thunùer
' ten=ol'S dread, 
In vain she seeks to hide her head, 
Attenlpts to fly, but vain is flight; 
Vainly she hastes tu 'scape pursuit 
And to avoid her Judge's eye; 
The Lord's fierce \vrath restrains her foot 
Like brazen chains, - she cannot fly. 


Here lies the Dragon, trau1pled do,vll, 
He lies, and feels God's angry frown, 
He feels, and grinueth hideously; 
He feels Hell's speechless agonies, 
A thousanù tÜnes he ho,v Is and sighs: 
"Oh, ùurning fiallles! y,uick, swallow me ! " 
There lies he in the fiery ,vaves, 
By torInents racked and pangs infernal, 
Instant annihilation craves, 
And hears, those pangs ,vill be eternal. 


Those nlighty squadrons, too, are here, 
The partners of his cursed career, 
Yet far less bad than he were they. 
Here lies the .countles:-: throng cOlllùined, 
In black and fearful crowds ent-wined, 
While round hÜn fiery tempests play; 
He sees how they the tJudge avoid, 
He sees the storIn upon then1 feed, 
Yet is not at the sight o'erjoyed, 
Because his pangs e'en theirs exceed. 


The Son of 
fan in 
ritllnph passes 
Down to lIe11's ,vild and black Inorasses, 
And there unfolds His n1ajesty. 
Hell cannot bear the bright array, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


For, since her first cr
ated day, 
Darkness alone e'er governed she. 
She lay remote fronl ev'ry light, 
With tornlents filled in Chaos here; 
God turned for ever from her sight 
His radiant' feature's glory clear. 


'Vithin the reålnls she calls her own, 
She sees the splendour of the Son, 
His dreaded glories shining forth; 
She sees Hitn clad in rolling thunder, 
She sees the rocks all quake with \vonàer, 
When God before her stands in wrath. 
She sees TIe COUles her .J udge to be, 
She feels the awful pangs inside her, 
Herself to slay endeavours she, 
But e'en this comfort is denied her. 


N O\v looks she back, with pains untold, 
Upon those happy times of old, 
When all these glories gave her joy; 
vVheu yet her heart revered the truth, 
vVhen her glad sou] in endless youth 
And rapture dwelt, without alloy. 
She callR to mint1 with rnadùened thought 
Ho
 over lnan her wiles prevailed; 
To take revenge on God she sought, 
And feels the vengeance it entailed. 


God was made man, and came to earth. 
Then Satan cried with fearful mirth: 
"E'en He nlY victiIn now shall be!" 
He sought to slay th
 Lord J\lost IIigh, 
The world's Creator no\v nlust die; 
But, Satan, endless woe to thee! 


3 1 9 



3 20 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thou thought'st to overcome Hirn then, 
Rejoicing in IIis suffering: 
But He in triunlph COines again 
To bind thee: Death! where is thy sting? 


Speak, Hell! ",
here is thy viCtOTY? 
Thy power destroyed and scattered see! 
Know'st thou not now the Highest's might? 
See, Satan, see thy rule o'erthro\vn! 
By thousand-varying pangs weighed down, 
Thou dwell'st in dark and endless night. 
As though by lightning struck thou liest, 
No gleaIIl of rapture far or \vide; 
In vain! no hope thou there descriest,- 
For me alone l\lessiah died! 


A howling rises through the air, 
A trembling fills each dark vault there, 
'Vhen Christ to Hell is seèn to come. 
She snarls with rage, but needs nlust cower 
Before our nlighty hero's po\ver ; 
He signs - and Hell is straight,vay dunlb. 
Before His voice the thunders break, 
On high His victor-banner blows; 
E'en angels at His fury quake, 
When Christ to the dread judgment goes. 


N ow speaks He, and His voice is thunder, 
He speaks, the rocks are Tent in sunder, 
His breath is like devouring Harnes. 
Thus speaks He: "Trernble, ye accursed! 
He \vho from Eden hurled you erst, 
Your kingdorn's overthrow proclaiuls. 
I..Aook up ! l\1:y chilùren once \vere ye, 
Your arnlS against l\I
 then ye turned, 
Ye fell, that ye might sinners be, 
Ye've now the wages that ye earned. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


"l\ly greatest foelnen fronl that day, 
Ye led nlY dearest friends astray,- 
As ye had fallen, nlan Inust fall. 
To kill him evernlore ye sought, 
'They all shall die the death,' ye thought; 
But ho\v! for 1\1e I've \von thenl all. 
For thein alone did I descend, 
For theln prayed, suffered, perished I. 
Ye ne'er shall gain your wicked end; 
Who trust in 1\1:e shall never die. 


" In endless chains here lie ye now, 
Nothing can save you from the slough, 
Not bolùness, not regret for crime. 
Lie, then, and \vrithe in brÏInstone fire 1 
'T\vtl::5 ye yourselves drew down 1\Iine ire. 
Lie and lanlent throughout all tilne! 
And also ye, 'VhOIH I selected, 
E'en ye for ever I diso\vn, 
For ye 1\ly saving grace rejected: 
Ye murnnll'? blalne yourselves alone! 


" Ye rnight have lived with 1\1e in bliss, 
For I of yore had pron1Ïsed this; 
Ye sinned, and all my prospects slighted; 
Wrappeù in the sleep of sin ye d\velt, 
N o\V is 1\ly fearful judgnlent felt, 
By a just doonl your guilt requited."- 
Thus spake He, and a fearful storm 
FrOln HiIn proceeds, the lightnings glow, 
The thunders seize each \vicked form, 
And hurl theIn in a gulf below. 


The God-nlan closeth Hell's sad doors; 
In all His nlajesty lIe soars 
FrOIn those dark regions back to light, 
He sitteth at the Father's side; 


3 21 


. 



3 22 


POE/\1S OF GOETHE 


Oh, friends, \vhat joy doth this betide! 
For us, for us He still will fight! 
The angels' sacred choir around 
Rejoice before the rnighty Lord, 
So that all creatures hear the sound: 
"Zebaotb's God be aye adored!" 


PROVERBS. 


A THOUSAND flies did I at even slay, 
Yet did one \vake lne at the break of day. 


. 


,V lIO serves the public is a sorry beast; 
He frets hin1self; no Ol1e thanks hiIn the least. 


W OULDST thou nothing useless buy, 
Be sure the fairs you go not nigh. 


I COULD no greater SOITO\V own 
Than live in Paradise alone. 


TAME XE:NIA. 


[The Epigrams bearing the title of B Xenia" were written by 
Goethe anù Hchiller together, having been first occasioned by 
Rome violent attaC'ks m
ule 011 them by some insignificant writers. 
They are extremely numerous, but scarcely any of them coulrl be 
translated into English. Those here given are merely pre:5ented 
as a specimen.] 


GOD gave to Inortals birth, 
In his o\vn iInage, too; 
Then caIne hinlself to earth, 
A mortal kind and true. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 2 3 


BARBARIA
S oft endeavour 
Gods for themselves to make; 
But they're n101'e hideous ever 
Than dragon or than snake. 


"WHAT is science, rightly known?" 
'Tis the strength of life alone. 
Life canst thou engender never, 
Life rnust be life's parent ever 


IT matters not, I 'ween, 
vVhere worIns our friends consume, 
Beneath the turf so green, 
Or 'neath a Inarble tOlnL. 
Renleu1ber, ye \vho live, 
Though frc)'wns the fleeting day, 
That to your friends ye give 
What never will decay. 


WHAT shall I teach thee, the very first thing?- 
Fain woulù I learn o'er Iny shadow to spring! 


EXCULP A TION. 


WILT thou dare to Llan18 the WOD1an for her seemIng 
sudden changes, 
Swaying east and s\vaying westward, as the breezes 
shake the tree 1 
Fool! thy selfish tho
ght rnisguides thee - find. the 
1'I'Lan that never ranges; 
Woman ,vaverR but to seek hÜ11- is not then the 
fault in thee 1 



3 2 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


PHO<El\fION. 


IN His blest name, who \vas His o\vn creation, 
Who froDI all tinle Dlakes 1naking his vocation; 
The nallle of Hirn \vho nlakes our faith so bright, 
Love, confidence, activity, and Dlight; 
In that One's name, \,,110, nalued though oft He be, 
D nknown is ever in lleality: 
As far as ear can reach, or eyesight diIn, 
Thou findest but the kno\vn reselnbliug Him; 
Ho\v high soe'er thy fiery spirit hovers, 
Its sÌ1nile and type it straight disc-overs; 
Onward -Lhou'rt dra\vn, with feelings light and gay; 
"\Vhere e'er thou goest, snÜliug is the \vay ; 
No Inore thou nurnberest, reckon est no time, 
Each step is infinite, each step sublime. 


'VHAT God would ol.ltuJardly alone control, 
And OD his finger \d1irl the nlÌghty Whole? 
He loves the inner \vorld to Il)OVe, to view 
Nature in Him, Hinlself in K ature, too, 
So that \vhat in Hirn works, and is, and lives, 
The measure of His strength, His spirit gives. 


WITHIN us all a universfl doth dwell; 
And hence each people's usage laudable, 
That everyone the Best that meets his eyes 
As God, yea, e'en his G()d, doth recognise; 
To Him both earth and heaven surrenders he, 
Fears HiIn, and loves Him, too, if that may be. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 2 5 


THE PARK. 


}Io\v beautiful! A garden fair is heaven, 

-"lowers of all hues, and sn1Ïling in the sun, 
Where all \vas \vaste antI \vildel'ness before. 
'Vell ùo ye Ï1nitate, ye gods of earth, 
The great Creator. Rock, anù lake, antI glade, 
Bil'll
, fishefi, and uutau1eù beasts are here. 
Your ,york were all au Eden but for this- 
Here is uo luau unconscious of a pang, 
No perfect Sabbath of unbroken rest. 


ANTIQUES. 


LEOPOLD, DUKE ù,F ßRUNS'VICK. 


['Vritten on the occasioll uf the ùeath, by ùrowuing, of that 
prince, ] 


THOU wert forcibly seized by the hoary lord of the 
nver, - 
Holding thee, ever he shares \vith thee his stream- 
ing dUIlJain. 
Uahnly sleepest thou near his urn as it silently 
trickles, 
Till thou to action art roused, waked by the s,vift- 
rolling flood. 
ICindly be to the people, as \vhen thou still wert a 
n101'tal. 
Perfecting that as a god, which thou didst fail ill, 
as man. 



3 26 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


ANACREOX'S GRAVE. 


'\VHERE the rose is fresh and blooming - where the 
vine and 111yrtle spring- 
Where the turtle-dove is cooing - 'where the gay 
cicalas sing- 
Whose may be the grave surrounded with such store 
of cOlnely grace, 
Like a God-created garden? 'Tis Anacreon's resting- 
place. 
Spring and summer and the autull) n poured their gifts 
around the bard, 
And, ere ,vinter caIne to chill hiIn, sound he slept be- 
neath the s\vard. 


THE HUSBANDl\fAN. 


LIGHTLY doth the furrow fold the golden grain within 
its breast, 
Deeper shroud, old man, shaH cover in thy limbs 
when laid at rest. 
Blithely plough, and so,v as blithely! Here are 
springs of Illortal cheer, 
And when e'en the grave is closing, Hope is ever stand- 
Ing near. 


THE ]
ROTHERS. 


SL U
IBE}{, Sleep - they were two brothers, servants to 
the Gods above: 
Kind Prometheus lured thelu down wards, ever filled 
,vith earthly love; 
But what Gods could bear so lightly, pressed too hard 
on lnen beneath. 
Slunlber did his brother's duty - Sleep ,vas deepened 
into Death. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 2 7 


LOVE'S HOUR - GLASS. 


EROS! \vherefore do I see thee, with the glass in 
either hand ? 
Fickle god! with double Uleasure wouldst thou count 
the shifting sand ? 
" This one flows for parted lovers - slowly drops each 
tiny bead - 
That is for the days of dalliance, and it melts ,vith 
golden speed." 


WARNING. 


Do not touch him - do not 'wake him! Fast asleep 
is Arnor lying; 
Go - fulfil thy work appointed - do thy laLour of 
the day. 
Thus the \vise and careful nlother uses every n10rnent 
flying, 
Whilst her child is in the cradle - Slumbers pass 
too soon away. 


PHIL01
ELA. 


SURELY, surely, Amor nursed thee, songstress of the 
plaintive note, 
And, in fond and childish fancy, fed thee from his 
pointed dart. 
So, s\veet Philornel, the poison sunk into thy guileless 
throat, 
Till, \vith all love's weight of passion, strike its 
notes to every heart. 



3 28 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE CHOSEN ROCK. 


HERE, in the hush and stillnesH of n1Ïd-noon, 
The lover lay, and thought upon his love; 
With blithesol11e voice hE' spoke to IDe: "Be thou 
l\ly "itness, stone! - Yet, therefore, vaunt thee not, 
:For thou hast nlany partners of nlY joy- 
To every rock that cro\vns this grassy dell, 
And looks on l11e and my felicity; 
To every forest-stem that I elubrace 
In IllY entrancenlent as I roaUl along, 
Stand thou for a Ineulorial of nlY bliss! 
All nlingle with my rapture, and to all 
I lift a consecrating cry of joy. 
Yet do I lend a voice to thee alone, 
As culls the .l\fuse SOlne fa vourite from the crowd, 
And, with a kiss, inspires for evermore." 


SOLITUDE. 


On, ye kindly nYlllphs, who d 'well 'Illongst the rocks 
and the thickets, 
Grant unto each whatsoever he may in silence 
desire! 
COlnfort impart to the rnourner, and give to the doubter 
instruction, 
And let the lover rejoice, finding the bliss that he 
cra ves. 
For from the gods ye received what they ever denied 
unto mortals, 
Power to comfort and aid all who in you may COll- 
fide. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


, 3 2 9 


HOLY FAl\lILY. 


o CHILD of beauty rare- 
o mother chaste and fair- 
How ,happy seemed they both, so far beyond compare 1 
She in her infant blest, 
And he in conscious rest, 
Nestling within the soft ,varIn cradle of her breast! 
vVhat joy that sight 'might bear 
To hÏ1n who sees theln there, 
If, with a pure and guilt-untroubled eye, 
He looked upon the twain, like Joseph standing by, 


THE l\IlTSES' l\IIRROR. 


EARLY one day, the l\luse, when eagerly bent on adorn- 
ment, 
Followed a swift-running streanllet, the quietest nook 
by it seeking. 
Quickly and noisily Howing, the changeful surface dis- 
torted 
Ever her nloving fOrIn; the goddess Jeparted in anger. 
Yet the streaU1 called mockingly after her, saying: 
"What, truly 1 
Wilt thou not view, then, the truth, in lllY n1Ïrror so 
clearly depicted ? " 
But she already was far away, on the brink of the 
ocean, 
In her figure r-ejoicing, anù duly arranging her garland 


THE TEACHERS. 


WHAT time Diogenes, unmoved and still, 
Lay in his tub, and basked hiIn in the sun- 
What tÎ1ne Calanus clo111 b, ,vith lightsolne step 
And sIniling cheek, up to his fiery tomb - 



33 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


\Vhat rare exalnples there for Philip's son 
To curb his OVel'lIlastering lust of sway, 
But that the Lord of the ri1ajestic \vorld 
"\tVas all too great for lessons even like these! 


l\IÄRRIAGE UNEQUAL. 


ALAS, that even in a heavenly marriage, 
The fairest lots should ne'er be reconciled! 
Psyche ,vaxed old, and pl'Udellt ill her carriage, 
Whilst Cupid evermore remains the child. 


PHCEBUS AND HERMES. 


THE deep-bl'o\vecl lord of Delos once, and l\1aia's nim- 
ble-\vitted son, 
Contended eagerly by Wh0111 the prize of glory should 
be won; 
Hermes longed to grasp the lyre, - the lyre Apollo 
hoped to gain, 
And both their hearts \vere full of hope, and yet the 
hopes of both \vere vain. 
:For Ares, to decide the strife, bet\veen them rudely 
dashed in ire, 
And \vaving high his falchion keen, he cleft ill t\vain 
the golden lyre. 
Loud Hennes laughed Inaliciously, but at the direful 
deed did fall 
The deepest grief upon the heart of Phæbus and the 
1\1 uses all. 


THE WREATHS. 


OUR German IClopstock, if he had his \vill, 
Would bar us froIH the skirts of PinduR old; 
No 1110re the classic laurel should be prized, 
But the rough leaflets of our native oak 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


33 1 


Alone should glisten in the poet's hair; 
Yet did hirnse1f, 'with spirit unreclaimed 
From first allegiance to those early gods, 
Lead up to Golgotha's lHost Dwful height 
With InOl'e than epic pOIllp the new Crusade. 
But let hirn range the bright angelic host 
On either hill- no matter. By his grave 
All gentle hearts should bow theln dO\Vll and weep 
]"'01' where a hero and a saint have died, 
Or where a }!oet snng prophetical, 
Dying as greatly as they greatly lived, 
To give melnorial to all after-times, 
Of lofty worth and courage undisluayed; 
There, in rnute reverence, an devoutly kneel, 
In hOlllage of the thorn and laurel wreath, 
That were at once their glory and their pang! 


THE NEW LOVE. 


LOVE, not the sirnple youth that \vhilom wound 
Himself about young Psyche's heart, looked round 
OlYlnpus 'with a cold and roving eye, 
That had accustoluetl been to victory. 
It rested on a UOlhless, noblest far 
Of all that noble throng - glorious star- 
Venus Urania. And froin that hour 
He loved her. Ah! to his resistless power 
Even she, the huly one, did yield at last, 
And in his daring 'arins he held her fast. 
A new and beauteous Love froin that, ein lJrace 
Had birth, which to the nlother owed his grace 
And purity of soul, 'whilst froln his sire 
He borro'wed an his passion, all his fire. 
Him ever, w'here the gracious l\1:uses he, 
Thou'lt surely find. Such s\veet society 
Is his delight, and his sharp-puinted dart 
Doth rouse within nlen's breasts the love of ARTo 



33 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE CONSECRATED SPO
 


WHEN in the dance of the NYlnphs, in the moonlight 
so holy assenlbled, 
Mingle the Graces, down fro In Olynlpus in secret de- 
scendin 0' 
b' 
Here doth the n1instrel hide, and list to their nun1bers 
enthralling, 
Here doth he 'watch their silent dances' mysterious 
III easure. 


SAICONTALA. 


W OtJLDST thou the 110880111S of spring, as well as the 
fruits of the autulnn, 
'V ouldst thou what channs and delights, \voulùst 
thou \vhat plenteously feeds, 
\V ouldst thou inelude Loth heaven and earth in one 
designation, 
All that is neeùetl is done, 'when I Sakontala name. 


YESTERDAY thy head 'was hrown, as are the flowing 
locks of love; 
In the bright Llue sky 1 'watched thee towering, giant- 
like above. 
N ow thy sUJnntit, white anù huary, glitters all with 
silver sno'w, 
Which the stonny night hath shaken frOln its robes 
upon thy hrow; 
And I know that youth anù age are bouud with such 
lnysterious Illeaning, 
As the days are linked together, one short dream but 
intervening. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


333 


DISTICHS. 


CHORDS are touched by Apollo, - the death-laden bow, 
too, he bendeth; 
While he the shepherdess charms, Python he lays 
in the dust. 


WHAT is merciful censure? to make thy faults appear 
snlaller ? 
1\lay be to veil then1 ? No, no! O'er them to raise 
thee on high! 


DEl\IOCRATIC food soon cloys on the multitude's 
stolnach; 
But I'll wager, ere long, other thou'lt give them 
instead. 


WHAT in France has passed by, the Germans continue 
to practise, 
For the. proudest of lnen flatters the people and 
fa wns. 


WHO is the happiest of men? He who values the 
merits of others, 
And in their pleasure takes JOY, even as though 
'twere his own. 


NOT in the n)orning alone, not only at n1id-day he 
charrneth ; 
Even at setting, the sun is still the sallle glorious 
planet. 


I 



334 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE CHINAl\IAN IN RO:\IE. 


IN Rome T saw a stranger from Pekin: 
Uncouth and heavy to his eye appeared 
The n1Ïngleù piles of uld and lllodern time. 
c, Alas 1" he said, 'v hat ,,--retched taste is here! 
When \vill they learn to stretch the airy roof 
On light pilastered shafts of varnished wood- 
Gain the rine SèllSè, anù educated eye, 
'Vbich only finds in lacquer, carvings quaint, 
And variegated tintings, pure delight?" 
Hearing these ".orùs, unto myself I 
aid, 
" Behold the type of many a nloon-struck bard, 
'Vho vaunts his tissue, ,voven of a dreanl, 
'Gainst nature's tapestry, that lasts for aye, 
Proclaims as sick the truly sound; and this, 
That he, the truly sick, lnay pass for sound!" 


PERFECT BI.lISS. 


ALL the divine perfections, \\Thich 'whilere 
Nature in thrift doled out 'ulungst Inany a fair, 
She showered with open hand, thou peerless one, on 
thee 1 
And she that was so wondrously endo'wed, 
To whom a throng of nolJIe knees were bowed, 
Gave all- Love's perfect gift - her glorious self, 
to me! 


PROVERBS. 


A BREACH is every day, 
By lllany a mortal stormed; 
Let them fall in the gaps as they may, 
Yet a heap of dead is ne'er forn1ed. 


" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


335 


WHAT harm has thy poor Inirror done, alas? 
Look not so ugly, pry thee, in the glass! 


ONE of the mightiest actions is that 
When one fries himself in his own fat. 


VENETIAN EPIG RAl\1S. 


(Written in 1790.) 


URN and sarcophagus erst were with life adorned by 
the heathen; 
Fauns are dancing around, \vhile \viLh the Bacchanal 
troop 
Checkered circles they trace; and the goat-footed, 
puffy-cheeked player 
Wildly produceth hoarse tones out of the claillorous 
horn. 
Cymbals and drums resound; we see and we hear, too, 
the Inarble. 
Fluttering bird! oh, how sweet tastes the ripe fruit 
to thy bill! 
Noise there is none to distnrb thee, still less to scare 
away AUlaI', 
Who, in the Inidst of the throng, learns to delight 
in his torch. 
Thus doth fulness overcome death; and the ashes 
there covered 
Seem, in that silent domain, still to be gladdened 
with life. 
Thus may the nlÎnstrel's sarcophagus' be hereafter 
surrounded 
With such a scroll, which hÍInself richly with life 
has adorned. 



33 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


CLASPED in myarlns for ever eagerly hold I my mis- 
tress, 
Ever DIY panting heart throbs \vildly against her 
dear breast, 
And on her knees for ever is leaning nlY head, while 
I'm gazing 
N o\v on her sweet smiling mouth, no,v on her bright 
sparkling eyes. 
"Oh, thou effen1Ïnate!" spake one, "and thus, then, 
thy days thou art spending?" 
Ah, they in sorrow are spent. List \vhile 1 tell thee 
Iny tale: 
Yes! I have left my only joy in life far behind Ine, 
Twenty long <lays hath nlY car borne llle Rway from 
her sight. 
Vett'l(;rini defy Ine, while crafty chamberlains flatter, 
And the sly valet de place thinks but of lies and 
deceit. 
If I attenlpt to escape, the postnlaster fastens upon lne, 
Postboys the upver hand get, custolll-house duties 
enrage. 
" Truly, I can't understand thee! thou talkest eniglnas ! 
thou seenlest 
Wrapped in a blissful repose, glad as Rinaldo of 
yore: " - 
Ah, I myself understand full well; 'tis lIlY body that 
travels, 
And 'tis IllY spirit that rests still in my n1Ïstress's 
arms. 


I WOULD liken this gondola unto the soft-rucking 
cradle, 
And the chest on its deck seems a vast coffin to be. 
Yes! 'tween the cradle and coffin, ,ve totter and waver 
for ever 
On the n1Íghty canal, careless our lifetinle is spent, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


337 


WHY are the people thus busily n10ving? For food 
they are seeking, 
Children they fain \vould beget, feeding them well 
as they can. 
Traveller, nlark this well, and when thou art hOIne, do 
thou likewise! 
l\lore can no mortal effect, work with \vhat ardour 
he will. 


I WOULD compare to the land this anvil, its lord to the 
hanlIl1er, 
Ând to the people the plate, which in the middle is 
bent. 
Sad is the poor tin-plate's lot, when the blows are but 
given at randorn : 
N e'er will the kettle be made, \vhile they uncertainly 
fall. 


W HAT is the life of a man ? Yet thousands are ever 
accustorned 
Freely to talk about Ulan, - what he has done, too, 
and ho\v. . 
Even less is a poenl ; yet thousands read and enjoy it, 
Thousands rtbuse it. - l\ly friend, live and continue 
to rhy Ine ! 


l\lERRY's the trade of a poet; but somewhat a dear 
one, I fear me ; 
For, as Iny book gro\vs apace, all my sequins I lose. 


IF thou'rt in earnest, no longer delay, but render me 
happy; 
Ârt thou in jest? Ah, sweet love! time for all 
jesting is past. 



33 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


ÅRT thou, then, vexed at n1Y silence? 'Vhat shall I. 
speak of? Thou Inarkest 
N either IllY sorrowful sigh, nor n1Y soft eloquent 
look. 
Only one goddess is able the seal of my lips to un- 
loosen, - 
When by Aurora I'm found, slumbering calm on thy 
breast. 
Ah, then Iny hymn in the ears of the earliest gods 
shall be chanted, 
As the l\lemnonian form breathed forth sweet secrets 
In song. 


IN the twilight of morning to clinlb to the top of the 
Dlountain, - 
Thee to salute, kindly star, earliest herald of day,- 
And to await, with inlpatience, the gaze of the ruler 
of heaven,- 
Youthful delight, oh, how oft lurest thou me out in 
the night! 
Oh, ye heralds of day, ye heavenly eyes of DlY mistress, 
N O\V ye appear, and the SUll evermore riseth too 
soon. 


THOU art amazed, and dost point to the ocean. It 
seems to be burning; 
Flan1e-crested billo\vs in play dart round our night- 
moving bark. , 
J\.1e it astonisheth not, - of the ocean was born A phro- 
dite, - 
Did not a flame, too, proceed from her for us, in her 
son? 


GLEAMING the ocean appeared, the beauteous billows 
were slniling, 
vVhile a fresh, favouring wind, filling the sails, drove 
us on. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


339 


Free was Iny bosom from yearning; yet soon lllY 
languishing glances 
Turned theulselves Lackward in haste, seeking the 
sno\v-covered hills. 
Treasures ulllluinbered are southwards lying. Yet one 
to the north 'wards 
Dra \VS TIle resistlessly back, like the strong lnagnet 
in force. 


SPACIOUS and fair is the world; yet oh! how I thank 
the kind heavens 
That I a garden possess, sInall though it be, yet 
mlue own. 
One ",hich enticeth me homewards; why should a 
gardener ,vander? 
Honour and pleasure he tinds, ",.hen to his garden he 
looks. 


AH, my maiden is going! she mounts the vessel! My 
nlonarch, 
Æolus! potentate dread! keep every storIn far 
a way! 
"Oh, thou fool!" cried the god: "ne'er fear the 
blustering tenlpest ; 
When Love flutters his WI
gS, then Inayest thou 
dread the soft breeze." 



34 0 


POE/
1S OF GOETHE 


ELEGIES. 


PART 1. 


ROl\IAN ELEGIES. 


[The 

 Roman Elegies" were wríttell in the same year as the 
6'Veuetiall }:pigralll
" -viz" lï!lO.] 


SPEAK, ye stones, I entreat! Oh, speak, ye palaces 
lofty! 
Utter a 'word, uh, ye streets! 'Yilt thuu not, Genius, 
a\vake? 
All that thy sacred 'walls, eternal Ilolne, hold within 
thenl 
Teelneth \vith life; but to rne all is still silent and 
dead. 
Oh, 'who will \vhisper unto nle, - ,vhen shall 1 see at 
the casenlent 
That one beauteous fonn, ,vhich, while it scorcheth, 
revives? 
Can I as yet not discern the road, ou ,vhich I for ever 
To her and frotn her shall go, heeding not tÎlne as it 
flies ? 
Still do I lHark the churches, palaces, ruins, and coI- 
n 11111S, 
As a wise traveller should, would he his juurney 
nnprove. 
Soon all this ,,,ill be past; and then váll there be but 
one telnple, 
Amor's temple alone, ,vhere the Initiate may go. 
Thou art indeed a worlù, 0 nome; and yet ,vere Love 
absent, 
Then ,vould the \vorId 1)e no \vorld, then would e'en 
Rome be no Ronle. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


34 1 


Do not repent, mine own love, that thou so soon didst 
surrender! 
Trust me, I deeln thee not bold! reverence only I 
feel. 
Manifold workings the darts of Amor possess; SOlne 
but scratching, 
Yet, with insidious effect, poison the bosom for years. 
Others nlÌghtily feathered, with fresh and ne
-ly-born 
sharpness, 
Pierce to the innennost bone, kindle the l)lood into 
flarne. 
In the heroical tÏ1nes, \vhen loved each god and each 
aoddess . 
b , 
Longing attended on sight; then \vith fruition was 
blessed. 
Thinkest thou the goddess had long been thinking of 
love and its pleasures 
When she, in Ida's retreats, owned to Anchises her 
flanle 1 
Had but Luna delayed to kiss the beautiful sleeper, 
Oh, by Aurora', ere long, he had in envy been 
roused 1 
Hero Leander espied at the noisy feast, and the lover 
Hotly and nimbly, ere long, plunged in the night- 
covered flood. 
Rhea Silvia, virgin princess, roanled near the Tiber, 
Seeking there water to draw, when by the god she 
was seized. 
Thus were the sons of l\Iars begotten! The twins did 
a she-wolf 
Suckle and nurture, - and Rome called herself 
queen of the world. 


ALEXANDER, and Cæsar, and Henry, and Frederick, the 
mighty, 
On nle would gladly bestow half of the glory they 
earned, 



34 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Could I but grant unto each one night on the couch 
where I'nl lying; 
But they, by Orcus' night, sternly, alas! are held 
down. 
Therefore rejoice, 0 thou living one, blest in thy love- 
lighted hOl1lestead, 
Ere the dark Lethe's sad wave wetteth thy fugitive 
foot. 


THESE few leaves, 0 ye Graces, a bard presents, In 
your honour, 
On your altar so pure, adding sweet rosebuds as 
\ven, 
And he does it with hope. The artist is glad in his 
workshop, 
\Vhen a Pantheon it seenlS round hinl for ever to 
bring. 
Jupiter knits his gorllike brow', - hers, Juno uplifteth; 
Phæbus strides on before, shaking his curly-locked 
head; 
Cahnly and dryly l\linerva looks do\vn, and Hermes, 
the light one, 
TUl'neth his glances aside, roguish and tender at 
once. 
But toward Bacchus, the yielding, the dreaming, raiseth 
Cyth ere 
Looks both longing and sweet, e'en in the marble 
yet nloist. 
Of his elnbraces she thinks \vith delight, and seems to 
be asking: - 
" Should not our glorious son take up his place by our 
side? " 


AMOR is ever a rogue, and all who believe him are 
cheated! 
To nle the hypocrite came: "Trust Ine, I pray thee, 
this once. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


343 


Honest is no\V lny intent, - with grateful thanks 1 
acknowlellge 
That thou thy life and thy \vorks hast to my wor- 
ship ordained. 
See, I have followed thee hither, to ROllle, with kindly 
intention, 
Hoping to give thee lnine aid, e'en in the foreigner's 
land. 
Every traveller cOlnplains that the quarters he lneets 
\vith are \vretched; 
Happily lodged, though, is he, who is by Anlor re- 
cei vecl. 
Thou clost observe the ruins of ancient buildings with 
wonder, 
Thoughtfully wandering on, over each time-hallowed 
spot. 
Thou dust honour still l110re the worthy relics created 
By the fe\v artists \VhÜlll I loved in their studios to 
seek. 
I 't\vas fashioned those fornls! thy pardon, - I boast 
not at present; 
Presently thou shalt confess, that what I tell thee is 
true. 

 ow that thou servest me more idly, \vhere are the 
beauteous figures, 
'\Vhere are the colours, the light, which thy creations 
once filled ? 
Hast thou a, luind again to fornl? The school of the 
Grecian s 
Still remains open, IllY friend; years have not barrßd 
up its doors. 
I, the teacher, arn ever young, anù love all the youthful, 
Love not the subtle and old; l\Iother, observe what 
I say ! 
Still was new the Antique, when yonder blest ones 
were Ii vin 0' . 
o , , 
Happily live, and in thee, ages long vanished will live ! 



344 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Food for song, 'where hopest thou to find it? I only 
can give it, 
And a l110re excellent style, love, and love only can 
teach." 
Thus did the Sophist discourse. 'Yhat 11l0rtal, alas! 
could resist hinl ? 
And ,,,,hen a lnaster c0I111nands, I have Leen trained 
to oLey. 
N O\V he deceitfully keeps his ,vord, gives food for :Iny 
nUlllLers, 
But, while he does so, alas! robs 1118 of tinle, 
strength, and rnind. 
Looks, anll pressnre of hands, and \vords of kindness, 
anù kis
es, 
Sy llaùles teen1Íng \vith thought, hy a fond pair are 
exchanged. 
Then Lecornes \vhispering talk, - anù stauunering, a 
language enchanting. 
Free frolll an lJl'osody's rules, dies such a hynln on 
the ear. 
Thee, Aurora, I used to own as the friend of the ::\luses ; 
Hath, theu, .Aulor the rogue cheated, ..t\.urora, e'en 
thee? 
Thou clost appear to 111e no\v as his friend, and again 
Jost a\vake lIle 
Unto a day of delight, while at his altar I kneel. 
All her locks I find on nlY bOSO:Ill, her head is reposing, . 
Pre1Ssillg \vith softness the arnl, ,vhich round her 
neck is ent\vined ; 
Oh! what a joyous a \vakeniug, ye hours so peaceful, 
succeeùed, 
Mornunent sweet of the bliss whieh had first rocked 
us to sleep! 
In her shun bel' she moves, and sinks, \vhile her face is 
averted, 
:Far on the breadth of the couch, leaving her hand 
still in IHine. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


345 


Heartfelt love unites us for ever, anù yearnings unsul- 
lied, 
And our cravings alone claim for themselves the 
exchange. 
One faint touch of the hand, and her eyes so heavenly 
see I 
Once D10re open. Ah, nu! let nle still look on that 
fornl
 
Closed still renlain! Ye nlake 111e confused and 
drunken, ye rob 1118 
Far tuu soon of the b1iss pure contelnplation 
affords. 
Mighty, indeed, are these figures! these limbs, how 
gracefully rounded! 
Theseus, could'st thou e'er fly, whilst Ariadne thus 
slept? 
Only one single kiss on these li}!s! 0 Theseus, UO\v 
leave us I 
Gaze 011 her eyes! she awakes! - .Firluly she holds 
thee embraced! 


PART II, 


ALEXIS AND DORA. 


[This beautiful poem was first published in Schiller's Horen.] 


FARTHER and farther away, alas! at each moment the 
vessel 
Hastens, as onward it glides, cleaving the foanl-eov- 
ered flood! 
LOllg is the track ploughell up by the keel ,vhere dol- 
phins are sporting, . 
}"ollowing fast in its rear, while it seeU1S flying pur- 
suit. 



34 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


All forebodes a prosperous voyage; the sailor with 
cahnness 
Leans 'gainst the sail, which alone all that is needed 
perfornls. 
Forward presses the heart of each sean1an, like colours 
and strearners ; 
Back,vard one only is seen, Inournfully fixed near 
the n1ast, 
While on the Llue-tinged mountains, which fast are 
receding, he gazeth, 
And as they sink in the sea, joy from his bosom 
departs. 
Vanished froln thee, too, 0 Dora, is now the vessel 
that robs thee 
Of thine Alexis, thy friend, - ah, thy betrothèd as 
well! 
Thou. too, art after me gazing in vain. Our hearts are 
still throbbing, 
Though, for each other, yet, ah! 'gainst one another 
no l11ore. 
Oh, thou single InOlnent 'wherein I found life! thou 
outweighest 
Every day 'which had else coldly from Inemory fled. 
'T,vas in that InOlnent alone, the last, that upon Dle 
descended 
Life, such as deities grant, though thou perceived'st 
it llot. 
Phæbus, in vain with thy rays dost thou clothe the 
ether in glory: 
Thine all-bdghtening day hateful alone is to me. 
Into Inyself I retreat for shelter, and there, in the 
silence, 
Strive to recover the tinle when she appeared with 
each day. 
\Vas it possible beauty like this to see, and not feel it ? 
VV orked not those heavenly charms e'en on a mind 
dull as thine? 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


347 


Blame not thyself, unhappy one! Oft doth -the bard 
an enlgrl1a 
Thus propose to the throng, skilfully hidden in words. 
Each oue enjoys the strange cOIlnniugling of images 
gracef ul, 
Yet still is ,vanting the word 'which will discover 
the sense. 
When at length it is found, the heart of each hearer is 
gladdened, 
And in the pOell1 he sees meaning of twofold delight. 
Wherefore so late didst thou remove the bandage, 0 
Alnor, 
Which thou haùst placed o'er n1Ïne eyes, - where- 
fore ren10ve it so late? 
Long did the vessel, when laden, lie waiting for fa- 
vouring breezes, 
Till in kindness the ,vind blew from the land o'er 
the sea. 
Vacant tÏ1nes of youth! and vacant dreams of the 
future! 
Ye all vanish, and nought, saving the moment, re- 
Inalns. 
Yes! it remains, - my joy still remains! I hold thee, 
my Dora, 
And thine inlage alone, Dora, by hope is disclosed. 
Oft have I seen thee go, with modesty clad, to the 
temple, 
While thy mother so dear solemnly ,vent by thy 
side. 
Eager and nimble thou wert, in bearing thy fruit to 
thë market, 
Boldly the pail from the well didst tbou sustain on 
thy bead. 
Then was revealed thy neck, then seen thy shoulders 
so beauteous, 
Then, before all things, the grace filling thy motions 
was seen. 



34 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Oft hav
 I feared that the pitcher perchance was In 
danger of falling, 
Yet it ever renlained firn1 on the circular cloth. 
Thus, fair neighbour, yes, thus I 'oft was ,vont to 
observe thee, 
As on the stars I lllÍght gaze, as I rnight gaze on 
the InOOD, 
({lad indeed at the sight, yet feeling ,vithin nlY calm 
Losoul 
X at the remotest desire ever to call thelll mine own. 
Years thus fleeted a way! ..AJthough our honses 'v ere 
only 
l\venty paces apart, yet I thy threshold ne'er 
crossed. 
N o,v by the fearful flood are ,ve parted! Thou liest 
to Heaven, 
Billo,v! thy heautiful blue seems to me dark as the 
nigh t. 
All were now in Inovenlent: a boy to the house of nlY 
father 
Ran at full speed and exclaÍ1ned: "Hasten thee 
quick to the strand! 
Hoisted the sail is already, e'en now in the wind it is 
fluttering, 
While the anchor they weigh, heaving it up from 
the sand; 
CaIne, .....-\.lexis, oh, corne!" - 1\1)" \vorthy stout-hearted 
father 
Pressed, ,vith a blessing, his hand down all my 
curly-locked head, 
,\\rhile my In other carefully reached me a newIY-lnade 
bun dIe; 
"Happy Inay'st thou return!" cried they -, " both 
happy and rich!" 
Then I sprang a,vay, and under Iny ann held the LUIltlle, 
I{unning along by the wall. Standing I found thee 
hard by, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


349 


At the door of thy garùen. Thou slnilingly saidst 
then: cc Alexis! 
Say, are yon boisterous crew going thy cOlllrades 
to be ? 
Foreign coasts \vilt thou visit, and precious merchan- 
dise purchase, 
Ornanlents Illeet for the rich matrons who dwell in 
the to\vn ; 
Bring 111e, also, I pray thee, a light chain; gladly I'll 
pay thee, 
Oft have I wished to possess SOUle such trinket as 
that." 
There I remained, and asked, as merchants are wont, 
with precision 
After the fornl and the weight which thy commission 
should have. 
Modest, indeed, was the price thou didst name! I 
meanwhile was gazing 
Ou thy neck, \vhich deserved ornaments worn but by 
queens. 
Loudly no\V rose the cry from the ship; then kindly 
thou spakest: - 
" Take, I entreat thee, S0111e fruit out of the garden, 
my friend ! 
Take the ripest oranges, figs of the whitest; the ocean 
Beareth no fruit, and, in truth, 'tis not produced by 
each land." 
So I entered in. Thou pluckedst the fruit froIn the 
branches, 
And the burden of gold was ill thine apron upheld. 
Oft did I cry, enough! But fairer fruits were still 
falling 
Into thy hand as I spake, ever obeying thy touch. 
Presently didst thou reach the arbour; there lay there 
a basket, 
Sweet blooming myrtle-trees waveù, as \ve drew 
nigh, o'er our heads, 



35 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then thou began'st to arrange the fruit with skill and 
in silence: 
,First the orange, which lay heavy as though 'twere 
of gold, 
Then the yielding fig, by the slightest pressure dis- 
figured, 
And ,vith myrtle the gift soon was both covered and 
graced. 
But I raised it not up. I stood. Our eyes met to- 
gether, 
And IllY eyesight grew dim, seelning obscured by a 
fihn. 
Soon I felt thy bosonl on mine! l\line arm was soon 
t\vining 
Round thy beautiful form; thousand times kissed I 
thy neck. 
On my shoulder sank thy head; thy fair arlns, encir- 
cling, 
Soon rendered perfect the ring knitting the raptur- 
ous pan. 
Amor's hands I felt: he pressed us together with 
arùouI', 
And, fr
nl the finnaluent cle'ar, thrice did it thun- 
del'; then tears 
Strealned fronl lnine eyes in torrents, thou weptest, I 
wept, both were weeping, 
And, 'rnid our sorro\v and bliss, even the world 
seen1ed to die. 
Louder and louder they called fronl the strand; my 
feet would no longer 
Bear my weight, and I cried: " Dora! and art 
thou not Inine ?" 
:, Thine for ever!" thou gently didst say: Then the 
tears ,ve were shedding 
Seenled to be wiped frorn our eyes, as by the breath 
of a god. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


35 1 


Nearer was heard the cry "Alexis!" The stripling 
who sought nle 
Suddenly peeped through the door. How he the 
basket snatched up ! 
How he urged me a\vay! how pressed I thy hand! 
Dost thou ask me 
How the vessel I reached? Drunken I seemed, well 
I kno\v. 
Drunken Iny shipmates believed Ine, and so had pity 
upon me ; 
And as the breeze drove us on, distance the to\vn 
soon obscured. 
"Thine for ever!" thou, Dora, didst munnur; it fell 
on my sellses 
With the thunder of Zeus! while by the thunderer's 
throne 
Stood his daughter, the Goddess of Love; the Graces 
were standing 
Close by her side! so the bond beareth an impress 
di vine ! 
Oh, then hasten, thou ship, 'with every favouring 
zephyr! 
Onward, thou powerful keel, cleaving the waves as 
they foam! 
Bring me unto the foreign harbour, so that the gold- 
smith 
May in his workshop prepare straightway the 
heavenly pledge! 
, Ay, of a truth, the chain shall indeed be a chain, 0 
my Dora! 
Nine times encircling thy neck, loosely around it 
entwined. 
Other and manifold trinkets I'll buy thee; gold- 
mounted bracelets, 
Richly and skilfully wrought, also shall grace thy 
. fair hand. 



35 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


There shall the ruby and enleralcl vie, the sapphire so 
lovel y 
Be to the jacinth opposed, seeming its foil; while 
the gold 
Holds all the je\vels together, in beauteous union COlll- 
mingled. 
Oh, ho\v the bridegrooin exults, \v hen he adorns his 
betrothed ! 
Pearls if I see, of thee they remind tile; each ring that 
is shown me 
Brings to lllY n1Índ thy fair hand's graceful and 
tapering forin. . 
I \vill barter and buy; the fairest of all shalt thou 
choose thee, 
,J oyously ,vould I devote all of the cargo to thee. 
Yet not trinkets and je\vels alone is thy loved one 
procurIng; 
With then1 he brings thee \vbate' e1' gives to a house- 
\vife delight. 
Fine and woollen coverlets, \vrought \yith an edging 
of purple, 
Fit for a couch where we both, lovingly, gently may 
rest ; 
Costly pieces of linen. Thou 
ittest and se\vest, and 
clothest 
1\1e, and thyself, and, perchance, even a third with 
it too. 
Visions of hope, deceive ye my heart! Ye kindly 
I nllllortals, 
Soften this fierce-raging RaIne, \vildly pervading my 
breast ! 
Yet how I long to feel them again, those rapturous 
torments, 
When, in their stead, care draws nigh, coldly and 
fearfully calm. . 
Neither the Furies' torch, nor the hounds of hell with 
their barking 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


353 


A ,ve the delinquent Ao. llluch, do\vn in the plains of 
despair, 
As by the Illotionless spectre I'nl a ,ved, that shows 
Ine the fair one 
Far away; of a. truth, open thé garden-door stands! 
And another one cOlneth! For hÜn the fruit, too, is 
falling, 
And for hÏ1u, also, the fig strengthening honey doth 
yield ! 
Doth she entice him as ,vell to the arbour? He ful- 
lo,vs? Oh, nlake lue 
Blind, ye IUllllortals! efface visions like this froIH 
my n1Ïnd! 
Yes, she is but a maiden! And she ,vho to one doth 
so quickly 
Yield, to another ere long, douhtles
, ,vill turn her- 
self round. 
Snlile Dot, Zeus, for this once, at an oath so cruelly 
broken! 
Thunder lllore fearfuIJy! Strike! - Stay - thy 
fierce lightnings ,vithhold ! 
Hurl at IIle thy quivering bolt! In the darkness of 
n1ÏdniO'ht 
b 
Strike with thy lightning this mast, Inake it a pitiful 
,vreck ! 
Scatter the planks all around, and give to the boister- 
ôus billows 
All these wares, and let me be to the dolphins a 
prey! - 
N o,v, ye l\luses, enough! In vain ,vonld ye strive to 
depicture 
How, in a love-laden breast, anguish alternates with 
bliss. 
Ye cannot heal the wounds, it is true, that love hath 
inflicted; 
Yet frOUl you only proceeds, kindlY' ones, conlfort, 

nd balm. 



354 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SONG O:F THE FATES. 


FROM IPHIGENIA IN TAURIS. 


ACT IV. SCENE 5. 


YE children of mortals 
The deities dread! 
The mastery hold they 
In hands all eternal, 
And use them, unquestioned, 
What nlanner they like. 


Let him fear thenl doubly, 
WhOlIl they have uplifted! 
On clift's and on clouds, 10, 
Round tables all-golden, 
The seats are n1ade ready. 
When rises contention, 
The guests are hurled downward 
With shalne and dishonour 
To deep depths of nlidnight, 
And vainly a,vait they, 
Bound fast in the darkness, 
A just condenlnation. 


But they remain ever 
In firmness unshaken 
Round tables all-golden. 
On stride they from mountain 
To mountain far distant: 
From out the abysses' 
Dark jaws, the breath rises 
Of torment-choked Titans 
Up tow'rd them, like incense 
In light clouds ascending. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


355 


The rulers in11110rtal 
Avert froln whole peoples 
Their blessing-fraught glances, 
And shun, in the children, 
To trace the once cherished, 
Still eloquent features 
Their ancestors wore. 


Thus chanted the Parcæ; 
The old 111an, the banished, 
In gloon1Y vault lying, 
Their song overheareth, 
Sontl, grandsons remernb'reth, 
And shaketh his head. 



Songs from Various Plays, Etc. 


FRO
1 FAUST. 


I. 


DEDICATIOX. 
'YE shado,vy forms, again ye're dra,ving near, 
So ,vont of yore to llleet lUY troubled gaze! 
'Vere it in vain to seek to keep you here? 
Loves still lllY heart that drealTI of oldeu days? 
Oh, corne, then! au(l iu pristine force appear, 
Parting the vapoury n1Íst that round n1e plays! 
My bosom finds its youthful strength again, 
Feeling the magic breeze th
t lllarks your train. 


Ye bring the fonTIs of happy days of yore, 
And Inany a shado\v loved attends you, too; 
Like sonle old lay, who'-:e dreanl ,vas well-nigh o'er, 
First love :lppears again, and friendship true; 
Upon life's labyrinthine path once lliore 
Is heard the sigh, and grief revives ane\v ; 
The friends are told, who, in their hour of pride, 
Deceived by fortune, vanished fronl Iny side. 


N a longer do they hear tuy plaintive song, 
The souls to ,vhom I sang in life's young day; 
Scattered for ever now thy friendly throng, 
And lllute, alas! each sweet responsive lay. 
35 6 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


357 


My strains but to the careless crowd belung, 
Their snlÌles but sorro,v to my heart cOllvey ; 
And all who heard nlY llunlbers erst \vith gladness, 
If living yet, roanl o'er the earth in sadness. 


Long buried yearnings in IllY breast arise, 
Yon calm and solemn spirit-realm to gain; 
Like the .fEolian harp's sweet lllelodies, 
My nlurnnuing song breathes forth its changeful 
strain, 
A trelnbling seizes me, tears fill rnine eyes, 
And softer gro\vs my rugged heart amain. 
All I possess far distant seems to be, 
The vanished only seems reality. 


II. 


PROLOGUE IN HE.A. VEN. 


THE ARCHANGEL
' SONG. 


RAPHAEL. 
THE sun still chants, aR in ulù tÏ1ne, 
With brother-shepherds ill 
hural sung, 
Anù with his thullùer-lnarch suhlÎ1ne 
l\luves his predestined cuurse alollg. 
Strength find the angels in his sight, 
Though he by none 1nay fatholned be; 
Still glorious is each work of lllight 
As ,vhen first fornled in luajesty. 


GABRIEL. 
And swift and swift, in wonùrous guise, 
Revolves the earth in splelldour bright, 



35 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


The radiant hues of Paradise 
Alternating with deepest night. 
Froln out the gulf against the rock, 
In spreading Lillo-ws foanls the ocean,- 
And cliff and sea \vith n1Ïghty shock, 
The spheres whirl round in endless motion. 


MICHAEL. 
And stornlS in elllulation growl 
Froln land to sea, frOlll sea to land, 
And fashion, as they wildly howl, 
A circling, wonder- 'working band. 
Destructive RaInes in Inad career 
Precede thy thunders on their way; 
Yet, Lord, Thy nlessengers revere 
The soft 111utations of Thy day. 


THE THREE. 
Strength find the angels in Thy sight 
Though none Inay hope to fathom Thee; 
Still glorious are Thy works of u1ight, 
As when first formed in lllajesty. 


III. 


CHORUS OF ANGELS. 


CHRIST is arisen! 
l\fortal, all hail! 
Thou, of earth's prison 
Dreary and frail, 
Bursting the veil, 
Proudly hast arisen! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


CHORUS OF WOMEN. 
Rich spices and myrrh, 
To embalm Him we brought; 
His corpse to inter 
His true followers sought. 
In pure cerements shrined, 
'Twas placed in the bier; 
But, alas 1 we now find 
That Christ is not here. 


CHORUS OF ANGELS. 
Christ is arisen! 
Speechless His love, 
Who to earth's prison 
Came fron1 above, 
Trials to prove. 
N ow is He risen 1 


CHORUS OF YOUTHS. 
Death's gloomy portal 
Now hath He rended,- 
Living, immortal, 
Heaven,vard ascended; 
Freed fronI His anguish, 
Sees He God's throne; 
We still must languish, 
Earthbound, alone. 
N ow that He's left us, 
Heart-sad we pine; 
Why hast Thou left us. 
Master divine? 


CHORUS OF ANGELS. 
Christ is arisen, 
Death bath He slain ; 


359 



3 60 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Burst ye your prison, 
}{end ye each chain! 
Songs of praise lead ye,- 
Love to sho\v, heed ye,- 
Hungry ones feed ye,- 
Preaching, Oil speed ye,- 
COIning joys plead ye, - 
Then is the l\laster near, 
Then is He here! 


IV. 


CHORUS OF SPIRITS. 


VANISH, dark clouds on high, 
Offspring of night! 
Let a 1110re radiant bean1 
Through the blue ether gleam, 
CharnJing the sight! 
Would the dark clouds on high 
l\lelt into air! 
Stars glimn1er tenderly, 
Planets more fair 
Shed their soft light. 
Spirits. of heavenly birth, 
Fairer than son s of earth, 
Quiv'ring emotions true 
Hover above; 
Yearning affections, too, 
In their train move. 
See how the spirit band, . 
By the soft breezes fanned, 
Covers the smiling land,- 
Covers the leafy grove, 
Where happy lovers rove, 
Deep in a dream of love, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


True love tha t never dieR ! 
Bo,vers on bowers rise, 
Soft tendrils twine; 
While from the press escapes, 
Born of the juicy grapes, 
Foalning, the ,vine; 
And as the current flows 
O'er the bright stones it goes,- 
Leaving the hilly lands 
Far, far behind,- 
Into a sea expands, 
Loving to wind 
Round the green mountain's base; 
And the glad-,vingèd race, 
Rapture sip in, 
As they the sunny light 
And the fair islands bright, 
Hasten to win, 
That on the billows play 
With sweet deceptive ray, 
Where in glad choral song 
Shout the exulting throng; 
Where on the verdant plain 
Dancers ,ve see, 
Spreading themselves amain 
Over the lea. 
Some boldly cliInbing are 
0' er the steep brake, 
Others are floating far 
O'er the smooth lake. 
All for a purpose move, 
All with life teem, 
While the sweet stars above 
Blissfully gleam. 


3 61 



3 6 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


v. 


l\IARGARET AT HER SPINNING-WHEEL. 


1\1y heart is sad, 
l\Iy peace is o'er; 
I find it never 
And nevermore. 


When gone is he, 
The grave I see ; 
The world's wide all 
Is turned to gall. 


Alas, my head 
Is well-nigh crazed; 
My feeble mind 
Is sore amazed. 


My heart is sad, 
1\1 y peace is o'er; 
I find it never 
And nevermore. 


For him from the ,vindow 
Alone I spy; 
For hiIn alone 
Fronl honle go I. 


His lofty step, 
His noble form, 
His nlouth's sweet smile, 
His glances warm
 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


His voice so fraught 
With magic bliss, 
His hand's soft pressure, 
And, ah, his kiss! 


My heart is sad, 
My peace il? o'er ; 
I find it never 
And nevermore. 



ly bosom yearns 
For his form so fair; 
Ah, could I clasp him 
And hold him there! 


My kisses sweet 
Should stop his hreath, 
And 'neath his kisses 
I'd sink in death! 


VI. 
SCENE. - A GARDEN. 


AI argaret. Faust. 


MARGARET, 
DOST thou believe in God? 


FAUST. 
Doth mortal live 
Who dares to say that he believes in God 7 
Go, bid the priest a truthful answer give, 
Go, ask the wisest who on earth e'er trod, - 
Their ans,ver ,vill appear to be 
Given alone in mockery. 


3 6 3 



3 6 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


MARG ARET. 
Then thou dost not believe? This sayest thou? 


FAUST. 
Sweet love, mistake not what I utter now! 
'\Vho knows his name 1, 
Who dares proclaim: 
Him I believe? 
Who so can feel 
His heart to steel 
To say: I believe Him not? 
The All-Embracer, 
The All-Sustainer, 
Holds and sustains He not 
Thee, me, Himself? 
Hang not the heavens, their arch o'erhead? 
Lies not the earth beneath us, firm ? 
Gleam not with kindly glances 
Eternal stars on high ? 
Looks not mine eye deep into thine 1 
And do not all things 
Crowd on thy head and heart, 
And around thee twine, in mystery eterne, 
Invisible, yet visible? 
Fill, then, thy heart, however vast, with this, 
And when the feeling perfecteth thy bliss, 
Oh, call it ,vhat thou wilt, 
Call it joy! heart! love! God! 
No name for it I kno,v ! 
'Tis feeling a11- llought else; 
Name is but sound and smoke, 
Obscuring heaven's Lright glow. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


VII. 


MARGARET'S PRAYER, 


o THOU well-tried in grief, 
Gt:ant to thy child relief, 
And view with mercy this unhappy one! 


The sword within thy heart, 
Speechless with bitter smart, 
Thou lookest up toward thy dying Son. 


Thou lookest to God on high, 
And breathest n1any a sigh 
O'er His and thy distress, thou holy One! 


Who e'er can know 
The depth of \,,"oe 
Piercing my very bone? 
The sorrows that n1Y bosom fill, 
Its tremblings, its aye-yearning will 
Are known to thee, to thee alone. 


Wherever I may go, 
With \voe, with \voe, with \voe, 
My bosom sad is aching! 
I scarce alone can creep, 
I weep, I ,veep, I ,veep, 
My very heart is breaking. 


The flowers at my window 
1'fly falling tears bedewed, 
When I, at dawn of morning, 
For thee these flow'rets strewed. 


3 6 5 



3 66 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


When early to my chamber 
The cheerful SUll beams stole, 
I sat upon Iny pallet, 
In agony of soul. 


Help! rescue Ule from death and misery! 
Oh, thou \vell-tried in grief, 
Grant to thy child relief, 
And view with lnercy my deep agony! 


FROiYI FAUST-SECOND PART. 


I. 
ARIEL. 
WHEN in spring the gentle rain 
Breathes into the flower new birth, 
When the green and happy plaill 
Smiles upon the sons of earth, 
Haste to give what help \ve Inay, 
Little elves of \vondrous might! 
Whether good or evil they, 
Pity for them feels the sprite. 


II. 
CHORUS OF SPIRITS. 
WHEN the moist and baln1ly gale 
Round the verdant meadow sighs, 
Odours sweet in misty veil 
At the twilight-hour arise. 
!'lurulurings soft of cabll repose 
Rock the heart to childlike rest, 
And the day's bright portals close 
On the eyes with toil oppressed, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Night already reigns o'er all, 
Strangely star is linked to star; 
Planets nlighty, sparklings small, 
Glitter near and gleam afar. 
Gleam above in clearer night, 
Glitter in the glassy sea; 
Pledging pure and cahn delight, 
Rules the moon in majesty. 


N ow each well-known hour is over, 
Joy and grief have passed away; 
Feel betinles! thou'lt then recover: 
Trust the new-born eye of day. 
Vales grow verdant, hillocks teenl, 
Shady nooks the hushes yield, 
And \vith waving, silvery gleanl, 
Rocks the harvest in the field. 


W ouldst thou wish for wish obtain, 
Look upon yon glittering ray! 
Lightly on thee lies the chain, 
Cast the shell of sleep a way! 
Tarry not, but be thou bold, 
When the lnany loiter still ; 
All with ease may be controlled 
By the man of daring will, 


III. 
ARIEL. 
HARK! the storm of hours draws near, 
Loudly to the spirit-ear 
Signs of coming day appear. 
Rocky gates are wildly crashing, 
Phæbus' wheels are onward dashing; 
(A wonderful noise proclaims the approach of the SUD.) 


3 6 7 




68 
,) 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Light doth luighty sounds beget! 
Pealing loud as rolling thunder, 
Eye and ear it fills \yith "Tonder, 
Though itself unconscious yet 
Down\vard steals it, 'lnongst the flowers 
Seeking deeper, stiller bowers, 
'l\fongst the foliage, neath the rock; 
Thou'lt be deafened by the shock! 


FRO)! FAUST-SECOND PART. 


SCENE THE LAST. 


ANGELS. 


[Hovering in the higher regions of air, and bearing the immortal 
part of Faust.] 
THE spirit-region's noble lin1b 
Hath 'scaped the Archfiend's power; 
For \ve have strength to rescue hiIn 
Who laLours every hour. 
And if he feels \vithin his breast 
A ray of love from heaven, 
He's lllet by all the squadron blest 
With \VelCOllle gladly given. 


THE YOUNGER ANGELS. 
Yonder roses, from the holy 
Hands of penitents so lowly, 
Helped to render us victorious, 
And to do the deed all-glorious; 
For they gained us this soul-treasure. 
Evil ones those roses banished, 
Devils, when we met theIn, vanished. 
Spirits felt love's pangs with pleasure, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Where hell's torments used to dwell; 
E' en the hoary king of hell 
Felt sharp tornlents through him run, 
Shout for joy! the prize is won. 


THE MORE PERFECT ANGELS. 
Strains of mortality 
Long have oppressed us; 
Pure could they ever be, 
If of asbestos. 
If Illighty spirit strength 
Elements ever 
Kne\v how to seize at length, 
Angels could never 
Linked t,vofold natures nlove, 
Where single-hearted; 
By nought but deathless love 
Can they be parted. 


THE YOUXGER ANGELS. 
See where a spirit-race 
Bursts on the sight! 
DÜnly their forn1s I trace 
Round the far height. 
Each cloud becorneth clear, 
While the bright troops appear 
Of the blest boys, 
From the Earth's burden free, 
In a glad con1pany 
Drinking in joys, 
Born of the ,vorld above, 
Spring-tin1e and bliss. 
l\lay they forerunners prove 
Of a nlOl'e perfect love, 
Linked on to this! 


3 6 9 



37 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE BEATIFIED CHILDREN. 
Thus as a chrysalis 
Gladly we gain hin1, 
And as a pledge of Lliss 
Safely retain hÜn; 
When from the shell he's free 
Whereby he's tainted, 
Perfect and fair he'll be, 
Holy and sainted. 


DOCTOR :MARIANU8, 
(In the highest, purest cell.) 
Wide is the prospect here, 
Raised is the soul; 
Women on high appear, 
Seeking their goal. 
'Mongst them the radian tone, 
Queen of the skies, 
In her Lright starry cro\vn 
Greets lilY glad eyes. 


(JVith ecstasy.) 
Thou who art of earth the queen, 
Let me, 'neath the blue 
Heavenly canopy serene 
Thy sweet mystery vie\v ! 
Grant the gentle solenlll force 
Which our breast can nlove, 
And direct our onward course 
To\vard thy perfect love. 
Dauntless let our courage be, 
At the bright behest; 
Mild our ardour suddenly, 
When thou biddest us rest. 


Virgin, type of holiness, 
Mother, honour-crowned, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thou whom we as queen confess, 
Godlike alld renowned. 
Round her, in gentle play, 
Light clouds are stealing; 
Penitents fair are they, 
Who, hun1bly kneeling, 
Sip in the ether sweet, 
As they for g
ace entreat. 


Thou, who art fron1 passions free, 
Kindly art inclined, 
Whe
 the sons of frailty 
Seek thee, meek in nlÏnd. 
Borne by \Veaklless' stream along, 
Hard it is to save them; 
Who can burst lust's chains so strong, 
That, alas, enslave theln ? 
Oh, ho\v soon the foot n1ay slip, 
When the smooth ground pressing 1 
Oh, how false are eye and lip, 
False a breath caressing 
 


MATER GLORIOSA hovers past. 


CHORUS OF PENITENT WOMEN. 
To bright realms on high 
In majesty soaring, 
0h, hark to our cry 
Thy pity imploring, 
Thou help to the cheerless, 
In glory so peerless! 


MAGNA PECCA TRIX (St. Luke vu. 36). 
By the love, \vhich o'er the feet 
Of the God-transfigured Son 


37 1 



37 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Dropped the tears, like balsam sweet, 
Spite of every scornful one; 
By the box of oilltnlent rare, 
Whence the drops so fragrant fell ; 
By the locks, \vhose gentle care 
Dried His holy nlelubers 'well- 


MULIER SAM:ARIT AN A . (St. John iv.), 
By the well where Abram erst 
Drove his flock to drink their fill; 
By the bucket which the thirst 
Of the Saviour served to still; 
By the fountain, baln1-exhaling, 
That fronl yon bright I'egion flows, 
Ever clear and never failing, 
As round every ,vorld it gues - 


MARIA ÆGYPTIACA (Acta Sancto1'Ul/t). 
By the sacred spot inul1ortal, 
Where the Lord's ren1ains they placed; 
By the arnl, that fron1 the portal 
Drove rue back 'with ,yarning haste; 
By nlY forty years of lowly 
Penance in a desert land ; 
By the fare,vell greetings holy 
That I wrote upon the sand- 


THE THREE. 
Thou who ne'er thy radiant face 
}1
rom the greatest sinners hidest, 
Thou who Thine atoning grace 
Through eternity providest, 
Let this soul, by virtue stirred, 
Self-forgetful though ,vhen living, 
That perceived not that it erred, 
Feel thy 1118rcy, sin forgiving I 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


UNA PCENITEXTIA. 
(Once named l\fargaret, pressing near them.) 
o radiance-spreading One, 
Who equalled art by none, 
In nlercy view mille ecstasy ! 
For he \vhom erst I loved, 
No n10re by sorrow proved, 
Returns at length to lne! 


BEATIFIED CHILDREN. 


(Approaching aR they hover round,) 
He now in strength of limb 
:Far doth out\yeigh us, 
And as \ve tended hinl, 
So \vill repay us. 
Early removed \Y
re we 
Far froln life's story; 
Trained no\v hin1self, will he 
Train us in glory. 


THE PE
ITEN'T, once nanwd Jlatt'garet. 
Linked with the noble band of spirits, 
Scarce can the ne\v one feel or see 
The radiant life he now inherits, 
So like that holy band is he. 
See how he bursts each bond material, 
And parts the olden veil at length, - 
In vesture dad in grace ethereal, 
Comes in the glo\v of youthful strength. 
Oh, let 111e guide his steps victorious, 
While dazzled by the new-born light. 


l\IA TER GLOIUOSA. 
COlne! raise thyself to spheres 1110re glorious, 
He'll follow when thou 11leetest his sight, 


373 



374 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


DOCTOR MARIANUS. 
(Prostrated in adoration.) 
Oh, repentant sinful ones, 
On that bright face gaze ye, 
And in grateful orisons, 
Your blest fortune praise ye ! 
Be each virtue of the mind 
To thy service given! 
Virgin, nlother, be thou kind! 
Goddess, queen of heaven! 


CHORUS MYSTICUS. 
Each thing of Itlortal birth 
. Is but a type; 
What was of feeble worth 
Here beconles ripe. 
What was a Dlystery 
Here meets the eye; 
The ever-womanly 
Draws us on high, 


FROM GÖTZ VON BERLICHINGEN. 


ACT, II. 


LIEBETRA UT plays and sings, 
HIS bow and dart bearing, 
And torch brightly flaring, 
Dan Cupid on flies; 
With victory laden, 
To vanquish each lTIaiden 
He roguishly tries. 
Up! up! 
On! on! 



. POEMS OF GOETHE 


375 


His anTIS rattle loudly, 
His wings rustle proudly, 
Anù flames fill his eyes. 


Then finds he each bosom 
Defenceless and bare; 
They gladly receive him 
Anù welcome him there. 
The point of his arrows 
He lights in the glow; 
They clasp hitll and kiss him 
And fondle him so. 
l5rei ei o! lDojOeio ! 


FROl\I EGl\iONT. 


ACT 1. 


CLARA winds a skein and sings with Brackenburg. 


THE drum gives the signal t 
Loud rings the shrill fife ! 
My love leads his troops on 
Full armed for the strife, 
While his han d grasps his lance 
As they proudly advance. 


My bosom pants wildly t 
My blood hotly flows! 
Oh, had I doublet, 
A helmet, and hose! 
Through the gate with bold footstep 
I after hinl hied, - 
Each province, each country 
Explored by his side. 



37 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


The coward foe treillbled 
When rattled our shot: 
What bliss e'er rese111 bled 
A soldier's glad I at ! 


ACT III. 


CLARA s
ngs. 


Gladness 
Anù sadness 
And pensiveness Llentling; 
Yearning 
Anù Lurning 
In torn1811t ne'er ending; 
Sad unto death. 
Proudlv soarin u aLove' 
J b , 
lIappy alone 
Is the soul that doth love! 


FROl\i "\VILIIEL:\1: l\iEISTER'S APPREN- 
TICESIIIP. 


BOOK II. CHAP. XIII. 


RETRIHlTTIO
. 


HE that \vith tears did never eat his bread, 
lIe that hath never lain through night's long hours, 
'Yeeping in l,itter anguish on his Leù- 
He kno,vs ye not, ye dread celestial powers. 
Ye lead us oll\vard into life. Ye leave 
The wretch to fall; then yield hÜn up, in woe, 
Ren1orse, and pain, unceasingly to grieve; 
For everr sin is punished here below. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


WHO gives himself to solitude, 
Soon lonely will remain; 
Eaeh lives, each loves in joyous mood, 
And lea yes hÜn to his pain. 
Yes! leave lIle to Iny grief! 
Were solitude's relief 
E'er granteù rne, 
Alone r should not be. 


A lover steals, on footstep light, 
To learn if his love's alune; 
Thus o'er IHe steals, by day and night, 
Anguish before unknown; 
Thus o'er IHe steals deep grief. 
Ah, when I finù relief 
Within the tOlnb so lonely, 
Will rest be met with only! 


BOOK IV. CHAP. XI. 


My grief no Illortals know, 
Except the yearning I 
Alone, a prey to \voe, 
All pleasure spurning, 
Up towards the sky I throw 
A gaze discerning. 


He \vho my love can know 
Seen1s ne'er returning; 
With strange and fiery glow 
1\ly heart is burning. 
l\ly griefs no mortals know, 
Except the yearning! 


377 



37 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


PHI LINE'S SONG. 


SING not thus in notes of sadness 
Of the loneliness of night: 
No! 'tis made for social gladness, 
Converse sweet, and love's delight. 


As to rugged man his wife is 
For his fairest half decreed, 
So dear night the half of life is, 
And the fairest half, indeed. 


Who could hail the day 'with pleasure, 
Which but interrupts our joys, 
Scares us from our dreams of leisure 
With its glare and irksonle noise 1 


, But when night is COBle, and glo,ving 
Is the lamp's atternpered ray, 
And fronl lip to lip are flo,ving 
Love and mirth, in sparkling play; 


When the fiery boy, that ,vildly 
Galnbols in his 'way"rard nlood, 
Calms to rest, disporting mildly, 
By SOlne trivial gift subdued; 


When the nightingale is trilling 
Songs of love to lovers' ears, 
Which, to hearts ,vith sorrow thrilling, 
Seel11 but sighs and 'waken tears; 


How, with pulses lightly bounding, 
Leaps the heart to hear the bell, 
Which, the hour of midnight sounding, 
Doth of rest and safety tell. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


379 


Then, dear heart, this comfort borrow 
In the long day's lingering light- 
Every day hath its o\vn sorrow. 
Gladness cometh with the night! 


EPILOGUE TO SCHILLER'S "SOXG OF THE 
BELL." 


[This fine piece, written originaJIy in 1805, on Schiller's death, 
was altered and recast by Goethe in 1815, on the occasion of the 
performance on the stage of the " Song of the Bell." Hence the 
allusion in the last verse.] 


To this city joy reveal it! 
Peace as its first signal peal it ! 
- SO'ng of the Bell- concluding lines. 


AND so it proved! The nation felt, ere long, 
That peaceful signal, and, \vith blessings fraught, 
A ne\v-born joy avpe'ared; in gladsonle song 
To hail the youthful princely pair \ve sought; 
While in the living, ever-s\velling throng 
:l\Iingled the cro,vds from every region brought, 
And on the stage, in festal p0111p arrayed, 
The HOMAGE OF THE ARTS I,ve saw displayed. 


When, lo! a fearful midnight sound I hear, 
That \vith a dull and nlourlJful echo rings. 
And can it be that of our friend so dear 
It tells, to WhOlll each wish so fondly clings? 
Shall death o'erconle a hfe that all revere? 
How such a loss to all confusion brings! 
Ho,v such a parting we Inust ever rue! 
The \vorld is weeping - shall not v;e ,veep, too? 


1 The title of a lyric piece composed' by RchillPT in honour of 
the marriage of the hereditary Prince of \tYeimar to the Princess 
Maria of Russia, and performed in 1804. 



3 80 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


He \vas our own r Ho\v social, yet how great 
Seemed in the light of day his noble mind! 
Ho\v \vas his nature, pleasing yet sedate, 
N ow for glad converse joyously inclined, 
Then swiftly changing, spirit-fraught, elate, 
Life's plan with deep-felt Ineaning it designed, 
Fruitful alike in counsel and in deed! 
This have \ve proved, this tested, in our need. 


He was our own! Oh, may that thought so blest 
O'erconle the voice of \vailing and of woe! 
He might have sought the Lasting, safe at rest 
In harbour, \vhen the tempest ceased to blow. 
l\leanwhile his mighty spirit on\vard pressed 
'Vhere goodness, beauty, truth, for ever grow; 
And in his rear, in shadowy outline, lay 
The vulgar, \vhich we all, alas, obey! 


Now doth he deck the garden-turret fair 
Where the stars' language first illunled his soul, 
As secretly yet clearly through the air 
On the eterne, the living sense it stole; 
And to his own, and our great profit, there 
Exchangeth to the seasons as they roll ; 
Thus nobly doth he vanquish, \vith reno\vn, 
The t\vilight and the night that \veigh us down. 


Brighter no\y glowed his cheek, and still more bright, 
With that unchanging ever-youthful glo\v,- 
That courage 'which o'ercollles, in hard-fought fight, 
Sooner or later, every earthly foe,- 
That faith \vhich, soaring to the reahns of light, 
N o\V boldly presseth on, no\v lJendeth low, 
So that the good Illay work, \vax. thrive amain, 
So that the day the noble may attain. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 81 


Yet, though so skilled, of such transcendent worth, 
This boarded scaffold doth he not despise; 
The fate that on its axis turns the earth 
:Froru day to night, here sho,vs he to our eyes, 
Raising, through lliany a work of glorious birth, 
Art and the artist's falne up toward the skies. 
He fills with bloss0111s of the noblest strife, 
'Vith life itself, this effigy of life. 


His giant-step, as ye full surely know, 
l\feasured the circle of the ,vill and deed, 
Each country's changing thoughts and 111orals, too, 
The darksolne book ,vith clearness could he read; 
Yet ho,v he, breathless 'll1idst his frielld
 so true, 
Despaired in sorrow, scarce frolll pain \vas freeù,- 
All this have ,ve, in sadly happy' years, 
For he was ours, bewailed with feeling tears. 


'Vhen from the agonising weight of grief 
He raised his eyes upon the ,vorld again, 
We sho,ved hÜn ho,v his thoughts nlÌght find relief 
FrOB} the uncertain present's heavy chain, 
Gave his fresh-kindled Inilld a respite brief, 
With kindly skill beguiling every pain, 
And e'en at eve ,vhen setting ,vas his snn, 
Froill his wan cheeks a gentle smile we won. 


Full ear1y had he read the stern decree. 
Sorrow anù death to him, alas, ,vere known; 
OfttÜnes recovering, no,v departed he,- 
Dread tidings, that our hearts had feared to own! 
Yet his transfigured being now can see 
Itself, e'en here on earth, transfigured gro,vn. 
What his o\\rn age reproved, anù deenled a crime, 
Hath been ennobled now by death and time. 



3 82 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And many a soul that \vith him strove in fight, 
And his great merit grudged to rec,ognise, 
No", feels the irnpress of his wOlldrou
 might, 
Anù in his magic fetters gladly lies; 
E'en to the highest hath he winged his flight, 
In close C0111IDUnioll linked with all \ve prize. 
Extol him then! What mortals \vhile they live 
But half receive, posterity shall give. 


Thus is he left us \vho so loug ago,- 
Ten years, alas, already! - turned from earth; 
We all, to our great joy, his precepts kno\v, 
Oh, may the \vorld confess their priceless \vorth! 
In swelling tide toward every region flow 
The thoughts that \vere his O'VD peculiar birth; 
He gleams like some departing Ineteor bright, 
Combining, with his own, eternal light. 


L'ENVOI. 


N o,v, gentle reader, is our journey ended. 
Mute is our n1Ïnstrel, silent is our song; 
Sweet the bard's voice whose strains our course 
attended, 
Pleasant the paths he gnided us along. 
Now nlust we part, - oh, ,vord all full of sadness, 
Changing to pensive retrospect our gladness! 


Reader, fare\vell! we part perchance for' ever. 
Scarce may I hope to meet with thee again; 
But e'en though fate our fello\vship filay sever, 
Reader, will aught to D1ark that tie rell1ain ? 
Yes! there is left one sad. sweet hond of union,- 
Sorrow at parting links UE, ill COllll11Union. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 8 3 


But of the twain, the greater is 1ny sorrow,- 
Reader, and why? - Bethink thee of the sun, 
How, when he sets, he waiteth for the 1l10lTO\V, 
Proudly once lllore his giant race to run,- 
Yet e'en when set, a glo\v behind hÏ1n leaving, 
Gladdening the spirit, which had else beeD grieving. 


Thus mayst thou feel, for thou to GOETHE only 
Biddest fare\vell, nor carest aught for l11e. 
Twofold my parting, leaving 111e all lonely,- 
I no\v 11lust part from GOETHE and frOllI thee, 
Parting at once froln cOlnrade and frolll leader,- 
Fare\vell great minstrel! farewell gentle reader! 


Hushed is the harp, its music sunk in slumbers, 
l\1emory alone can waken now its nunlbers. 


THE END. 


\ 




POEMS OF GOETHE 
VOLUME II 
REYNARD THE FOX 




Contents 
PAGE PAGE 
Hemann and Dorothea 1 VIII. SULEIKA NA
[EH 
vV EST - EASTERN nIV A
 Hatem . 125 
I. 1\lORGANNI KAl'tIEH 
uleika 126 
Tal Ïðm alJS 114 Hatem . 127 
The Four ]--'avours 114 Hatem . 127 
Disconl 115 The Loving One Speaks 128 

Ol1g awl 
tructure 115 The Loving One Again 128 
II, HA}']S N'Al\IEH H uleika , . 129 
The UuliUlited 11() The Sublime Type 130 
To Hafts 117 f:S uleika . . 131 
III. 'GSCHli NAl\IEH The Reunion 132 
The Types 117 Huleika 133 
One Pair 1\fore 118 IX, 
AKI NAl\IEH 13,) 
IV, TEFKIR S Al\IEH X. lVIATHAL NA:r.IEH 136 
Five Things. 119 It Is Good 137 
Fird usi 119 XI. P ARSI N A:r.IEH 
Suleika 120 The Bequest of the An- 
V. HE
D
CII 
A:ì\IEH 120 cient Persian Faith 138 
VI. HIIDIET 
Al\IEII 120 XII, CHULI> K A:\IEH 
VII, 'l'DIUR K_UIEH The Privileged :\Ian 14] 
The "Tinter and Timur . 12H The Favoured Beasts 143 
To S uleika 124 The Seven Sleepers of 
Ephesus 143 




Poems of Goethe 
Part II. 


. 


HERl\lANN AND DOROTHEA. 


FORTUNE AND LOT. 


NEVER before have I seen our market and streets so 
deserted; 
Truly the town is as though 'twere swept out, or dead: 
for not fifty 
Still are rernaining behind, methinks, of our whole 
population. 
What \vill not curiosity do? Thus runneth and 
ru
heth, 
Each one now to see the train of the poor \vretched 
exiles. 
Up to the causeway on which they travel, is nigh an 
hour's journey. 
Still runs thither the crowd, in the dust and heat of 
the Inidda y ; 
Yet, should not I like to stir from my place to see 
what aftliction 



2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Good men suffer in flight, \vho no\v, \vith the rescued 
possessIon s, 
Leaving, alas! the Rhine's charming bank, that coun- 
try of beauty, 
Come over here to us, and wander along through the 
windiuO's 
o 
Of this fruitful vale, a nook by fortune n10st favoured. 
Nobly, wife, hast thou done, in sending our SOD on 
kind errand, 
Bearing with hiIn old linen, and sOlnething for eating 
and drinking. 


All to dispense to the poor; for to give is the rich 
Ulan's first duty; 
Oh, 'what a pace the boy drove! and ho'\v he nlanaged 
the horses! 
Ay, and took for hiInself our carriage, - the ne\v one; 
four persons 
Sit with comfort inside, and out on the dickey the 
dri vel' . 
, 
But all alone went he no'\v, and how lightly it rolled 
round the corner; 
Sitting at ease beneath the gate of his house in tbe 
market, 
Thus, addressed his '\vife, the host of the Golden Lion. 


Then made answer to him the prudent and sensible 
housewife: 
"Father, not 'willing am I to part \vith my linen, 
though worn out, 
For it is useful for much, and not to be purchaseù 
with money, 
If one should need its use. Yet to-da
'" I gave, ay, anù 
o'!adb.'" 
b J' 
J\fany a better piece, Inade up for chen1Ïses and covers, 
Since I heard of old people and children going there 
naked. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 


But ,,-ilt thou pardon rile now? for thy chest, too; has 
been rifled, 
And, above all, I gave the dressing-gown - finest of 
cotton, 
Bright \vith Indian flo\vers, and lined with the finest 
of flannel; 
But it \vas thin, you know, and old, and quite out of 
fashion." 


But upon that, \vith a smile, out spake the excellent 
landlord: 
"Still, am I sorry to lose it, - the old go\vn nlade of 
good cotton, - 
Real East Indian stuff - one will not get such another. 
Well! I \vore it no more; for a man (so the world 
\vill no\v have it), 
1fust at all hours of the day, in frock or dress-coat 
exhibit, 
And ever booted be; Loth slippers and caps are for.. 
bidden." 


" Look!" replied the good \vife, "there are some al- 
ready returning, 
Who, \vith the rest, saw the train; yet surely it now 
must have passed by. 
See how dusty are all their shoes, how glowing their 
faces ! 
Anù \vith his handkerchief each wipes off the sweat 
from his forehead. 
N ever may I in the heat, for such a spectacle, so far 
Run and suffer! In truth the 'recital I find quite suffi- 
cient." 


Then, observed the good father, in tones of great 
animation: 
"Seldom hath such weather for such a harvest been 
granted; 



4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And we are getting in the fruit, as the hay is in 
already, 
Dry: - the sky is clear, no cloud can be seen in the 
heavens, 
And from the East the wind is blo,ving ,vith loveliest 
coolness; 
This is indeed settled weather! the corn over-ripe is 
already, 
And ,ve begin to-morrow to cut down the glorious 
harvest." 


Whilst he thus spake, still swelled the troops of men 
and of ,vomen 
'Vho, through the Inarket square, to their homes 'vere 
no,v seen returning; 
And thus, too, at full speed returning along ,vith his 
daughters, 
Came to the other side of the square, ,vhere his new 
house ,vas standing, 
Riding in open carriage of handsome landau pat- 
tern, 
Richest amongst his neighbours, the foren1ost of all the 
town's merchants. 
Lively gre,v the streets; for the place ,vas ,veIl peo- 
pled, and in it 
l\1any a factory ,vorked, and many a business was 
thriving. 


Thus, then, under the gateway still sat the couple 
falniliar, 
And in many remarks on the passing cro,vd found 
amusement. 
But the worthy housewife at length spoke out, thus 
commencIng: 
" See! there COlnes the vicar, and there, too, our 
neigh bour, the druggist, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


5 


Coming along with him; a full account they shall 
gIve us, 
vVhat they have seen out yonder, and what gives no 
pleasure to look on." 


Friendly they both came on, and greeted the good 
married couple; 
Sea.ted themselves on the benches, - the wooden ones 
under the gate,vay,- 
Shook off the dust frOln their feet, and fanned for a 
breeze with their 'kerchiefs. 


. 


Then the druggist first, after many mutual greetings, 
Thus began to speak, and said, in a tone almost fretful: 
" So is it ever \vith ITlen! and one is still just like the 
other, 
In that he loves to stare, \vhen n1Ísfortulle befalleth 
his neigh bour ; 
Each one rUllS to behold the fiall1eS breaking out ,vith 
destruction, 
Each the poor crinlÍnal In arks who is dragged to a 
death of keen torture; 
Each one is \valking out no-w to gaze on the woes of 
the exiles. 
Noone thinking, meanwhile, that himself by a sin1Ílar 
fortune, 
If not next, yet at least, in the course of time may be 
stricken. 
Levity such as this I pardon not: yet man displays 
it ! " 


Then observed ill reply the honoured, intelligent 
Vlcar,- 
He, the pride of the town, still YOl}ng in his earliest 
manhood. 
He was acquainted with life, and kne\v the 'wants of 
his hearers. 



6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thoroughly \yas he Ïluprl'ssed with the value supreule 
of the Scriptures, 
Which ulan's destiny to hinl reveal, and \vhat feelings 
best suit it; 
While he \vas also ,veIl versed in the best of secular 
\vritings. 
He then said: " I am loath to find fault with an inno- 
cent instinct, 
Which hath at all tinles been given to Inan by good 
l\lother 
 ature ; 
For what prudence and sense cannot always do, may 
be often 
Done by such fortunate inlPulse as irresistihly guides 
us. 
Were not nlan Rtrungly induced by curiosity's ardour, 
Say, \voldd he ever have learnt how natural things 
hold together 
In such love]y connection? For, first, he craved what 
was novel, 
Then \vith un wearied pains continued his search for 
the useful, 
Longing at last for the good, which exalts him, and 
gives hiIll ne\v value. 
Levity in his youth is his gladsonle conlpanlon, to 
c1an cr er 
" 
Ever Rhutting his eyes, and the traces of pain and of 
evil 
Blotting \vith wholesome speed, so soon as their forms 
have past by him. 
Truly may that Ulan be praised, in 'whose riper years 
is developed 
Out of such jovial tClnper the steady and strong 
understanding, 
Which in joy or in sorrow exerts itself, zealous and 
active; 
For he \vill bring forth good, and atone for each hour 
he has 'wasteJ." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


7 


Suddenly then began the hostess, \vith friendly im- 
patience, 
"Tell us wbat you have seen; for that's \vhat I wish 
to be hearing." 


"Hardly," replied thereupon the druggist, with em- 
phasis speaking, 
"Shall I in short space again feel happy since all I 
have witnessed. 
Who could describe it aright, - that manifold scene 
of disaster ? 
Clouds of dust frorn afar, ere yet \ve came down to 
the nleado\vs, 
Saw we at once; though the train, fronl hill to hill 
as it progressed, 
Still was hid fronl our sight, and \ve could but little 
distinguish. 
But when we reached the road 'which goes across 
through the valley, 
Truly great was the crowding and din of the travellers' 
wagons, 
Ah! we sa \v then enough of the poor nìen, \vhile they 
passed by us, 
And could but learn, how bitter is flight, with such 
sorro,vs attended, 
And yet how joyous the sense of life, when hastily 
rescued. 
Piteous was it to see the goods of every descrip- 
tion, 
Which the well-furnished house contains, and which a 
good landlord 
In it has placed about, each thing in its proper 
position, 
Always ready for use (for all things are needed and 
useful) , 
Now to see all these loaded on wagons and carts of all 
fashions, 



8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


... 
One thing thrust through another, in over-haste of 
renlOyal. 
Over the chest there lay the sieve, and the good 
woollen blankets 
In the kneading-trough, the bed and the sheets o'er 
the lllÍrror. 
Ah! anù, as at the fire t\venty years ago we all noticed, 
Danger took froIu man altogether his po\vers of reflec- 
tioll, 
So that he seized 'what \vas paltry, and left what \vas 
precious behind hin}. 
Just so in this case, too, ",ith a carefulness lacking 
discretion, 
Worthless things took they on, to burden their oxen 
and horses, 
Such as old boards and casks, the goose-coop, and \vith 
it the bird-cage. 
W o III en and children, too, gasped as they dragged 
along \vith their bundles, 
lTnder baskets and tubs filled with things of no use to 
their o\vners ; 
Since ulan' is still ullwilling the last of his goods to 
abandon. 
Thus on the dusty road the cro\vding train travelled 
on\vard, 
Orderless and confuseù with ill-matched pairs of faint 
horses, 
Oue of \vhieh wished to go slow, \vhile the other was 
eager to hasten, , 
Then there arose the cry of the squeezed-up women 
and children, 
Mixed with the lowing of cattle, and dogs all barking 
in chorus, 
And with the \vail of the aged and sick, all seated and 
s\va Ying 
High aloft upon beds, on the hard and overpacked 
\vagon s. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


9 


But, driven out of the rut, to the very edge of the 
higlnvay, 
Wandered a creaking wheel; - upsetting, the vehicle 
rolled do\vn 
Into the ditch, \vith the swing its hUITlan freight quick 
discharging 
Far in the field, - with dire screarHS, yet with fortunate 
Issue. 
After them tunlbled the chests, and fell by the side of 
the wagon. 
Truly, he ,vho saw them in falling, expected to find 
them 
Crushed and shattered beneath the load of the boxes 
and cupboards. 
Thus, then, they lay, - the ,vagon all broken, the 
people all helpless- 
For the others ,vent on, and with speed drew past, 
each one thinking 
Only about himself, \vhile the stream still hurried him 
for'ward. 
Then did we hasten to them, and found the sick and 
the aged, 
Who, when at hóme and in bed, scarce bore their 
continual sufferings, , 
And now injured here on the ground lay moaning and 
groanIng, 
Scorched at once by the sun, and choked by the dust 
thickly waving." 


Moved by the tale, thereupon replied the humane- 
hearted landlord: 
cc 0 that Hernwnn may find them, to give both com- 
fort and clothing! 
Loath should I be to see them; the sight of n1Ïsery 
paIns me. 
Though deeply moved by the first report of such a 
disaster, 



10 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Sent \ve III haste a mite from our superfluity, so 
that 
S0111e n1Ìght be strengthened therewith, and we feel 
our hearts the more tranquil. 
But let us now no Dlore renew these pictures of sor- 
row. 
Quickly into the hearts of men steals fear of the 
future, 
And dull care, which by llie than evil itself is more 
hated. 
Step now into our room at the back - our cool little 
parlour. 
N e'er shines the sun therein; ne'er forces the warm air 
a passage 
Through the thickly built walls. And, D10ther dear, 
bring us a wee glass 
Of the good Eighty-three, to drive far away all bad 
fancies, 
Here there is no pleasure in drinking; the flies so buzz 
round the glasses." 
Thus they all went in, and enjoYlnent found in the 
coolness. 


Carefully brought the good lllother some Wine of 
glorious brightness, 
In ,veIl-cut decanters, on tray of tin brightly var- 
nished, , 
'Vith the light-green rummers, the genuine goblets for 
Rhine wine. 
And, thus sitting, the three surrounded the high pol- 
ished ta 11e, 
Round and bro\vn, which stood upon feet so strong 
and so steady. 
Merrily soon rang the glass of the host on that of the 
VIcar ; 
But the druggist held his unmoved, in deep medita- 
tion ; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


II 


Whom with friendly words the host thus challenged 
to join then} : 
cc Drink and be merry, good neighbour; for God from 
misfortune hath saved us, 
And, of His goodness, will still continue to save us in 
fu tu reo 
'Vho can fail to acknowledge that since the dread con- 
flagration, 
When lIe chastened us sore, He hath ever constantly 
blessed us ; 
Ay, and constantly guarded, as man doth guard his 
eye's apple, 
Keeping with greatest care \vhat of all his lnembers is 
dearest? 
Should He not, then, continue to guard and help us 
still further? 
Truly, ho\v great is His power, then only lliall sees, 
when ill danger. 
Should, then, this flourishing town, \vhich He, through 
its diligent burghers, 
First from its ashes ane\v built up, and then loaded 
\vith hlessings, 
Now again be Jestroyed by Hilll, and our pains 
brought to nothing? " 


Cheerfully, then, and gently, replied the excellent 
VIcar : 
"Hold ye fast this faith, and hold ye fast this convic- 
tion ! 
For it will make you in joy both steadfast and sure, 
and in sorrow 
Sweet is the comfort it yields, and glorious the hope it 
enlivens." 
Then replied the host, with thoughts judicious and 
manly: 
" How have I greeted full oft \vith wonder the swell 
of the Rhine flood, 



12 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


When, in my business journeys engaged, once more I 
approached it ! 
Grander it always seenled, and exalted lilY thoughts 
and my spirits 1 
But I could never think that his bank, in loveliness 
smiling, 
Soon should prove a rainpart to guard off Frankish 
111 vaSI on. 
Thus doth Nature guard us, thus guard us our brave- 
hearted Gernlans, 
Thus the Lord hÏ1nself; \'lho, then, \vould lose heart, 
like a dotard ? 
Tired are the combatants no\v, and to peace is every- 
thing pointing. 
And when the feast long wished for \vithin our church 
shall be II olden, 
Anù the bells' solelHu peal shall reply to the s\vell of 
the organ, 
J\fixed with the trumpet's sound, keeping time \vith 
the soaring Te DeuIu, 
Then may our Herlllann, too, on that day of rejoicing. 
Sir Vicar, 
Stand resolved \'lith his bride before you in front of 
the altar, 
And so the happy feast-day, observed alike in all 
countries, 
Seem in future to 111e a glad home-anniversary Iike- 
\vise ! 
But I am sorry to see the lad, ,,'ho al \vays so active 
Sho\'ls hÜnself for 111e at home, out of doors so sIo\v 
and so bashful. 
Little desire hath he alTIOngst people to make his ap- 
pearance; 
Nay, he avoids altogether the cOlupany of our youug 
maidens, 
And the fro]icsome dance, in which youth ever re- 
joiceth." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


13 


Thus he spake and then listened. The noise of clat- 
tering horses, 
Distant at first, \vas heard to draw near, and the roll 
of the carriage, 
Which with inlpetuous speed now canle thundering 
under the gateway. 


HERMANN. 
When now the ,veIl-formed son came into the parlour 
and joined them. 
Keen and direct were the glances ,vith which the 
vicar surveyed him, 
And remarked his Inanner, and scanned the whole of 
his bearing 
'Vith the observant eye which easily reads through 
each feature: 
Then he smiled, and \vith words of cordial purport 
addressed hirn : ' 
., Rurely, an altered IHan you come in! I never have 
seen you 
Look so sprightly before, with a gleam of such anima- 
tion. 
Joyous you come and gay; 'tis clear you divided your 
presents 
Ably amongst the poor, and received in return their 
rich blessing." 


Quickly then the son with words of earnestness aD- 
s \vered : 
" 'Vhether I merited praise, I know not; but my own 
feelings 
Bade n1e to do what now I ,vish to relate to you fully. 
l\Iother, you rUllllnaged so long your old stores in 
searching and choosing, 
That it was not till late that the bundle was all got 
toO'eth er 
b ' 



14 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And the wine and the beer were slowly and carefully 
packed up. 
When to the gate at length, and along the street I 
proceeded, 
StreanÜng back calue the mass of the to\vnsmen, with 
\VOll1en and children, 
Right in IllY \vay ; and now far off was the train of 
the exiles. 
Therefore I held on faster, and quickly drove to the 
villa o'e 
b , 
Where they would halt, as I heard, for the night, and 
rest their poor bodies. 


'\Vhen now, as T went on, I reach
d the new road 
through the valley, 
There \vas a wagon ill sight, constructed with suitable 
tirn bel's, 
Dra wn by two oxen, the largest and strongest that 
foreigners boast of; 
Close by its side with steps full of strength was walk- 
ing a maiden, 
Guiding with a long rod the pair of powerful cattle, 
Urging on now, and again holding back, as she skil- 
fully led thenl. 
Soon as the Inaiden saw me, she calmly came near to 
my horses, 
Saying: ' It is not always we've been in such doleful 
condition 
As you behold us to-day along these roads of your 
country ; 
Truly I all1 not accustonled to ask the donations of 
strangers, 
'\Vhich they oft grudgingly give, to be rid of the poor 
man's petitions: 
But I am urged to speak by necessity. Stretched on 
the stra\v here, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


15 


Newly delivered, the wife of a once rich proprietor 
lieth, 
Whonl, 'with child as she ,vas, I scarce saved ,vith the 
steers and the wagon. 
Slowly \ve follow the rest, while in life she hath hardly 
continued. 
Naked now 011 her arID the ne"T-horn infant is lying, 
And with but scanty Illeans our people are able to 
help ns, 
If in the village hard by, where we think of resting, 
we find thelll ; 
Though I anl greatly in fear they already are gone along 
past it. 
If frolll these parts you come, and a store of su perflu- 
ous linen 
Anywhere have at cOIDlnand, on the poor it were kind 
to bestow it.' 


Thus she spake; and, faint and pale, froln the stra\v 
the poor wo Ulan 
Rising showed herself to me; when thus in return I 
addressed then1 : 
'Good rnen, surely, oft are warned by. a spirit fronl 
hea ven, 
So that they feel the need \vhich o'er their poor brother 
is ha nging : 
For iny rllother, your trouble thus feeling beforehand, 
a bun(lle 
Gave rne, where\vith at once to supply the ,vants of 
the naked.' 
Then I untied the knots of the conI, and the dressing- 
go,vn gave her, 
Once our father's, and with it I gave the chemises anù 
flannel, 
And she thanked me with joy, and exclain1ed: 'The 
prosperous think not 

Iiracles still are ,vrought; for IDan in misery oIlIy 



16 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Sees God's hand and finger, 'which good Hlen guideth 
to good men. 
\Vhat through you He is doing to us, 11lay He do to 
you like\vise!' 
And I SRW the glad lnother the different pIeces of 
linen 
Handling, but most of all, the go\vn's soft lining of 
flannel. 
Then said the Inaiden to her: 'N O\V speed we on to 
"the village, 
\Vhere for the night our people already are halting and 
resting. 
There the baby-clothes, one and all, I'll quickly attend 
to.' 
Then she greeted me, and thanks the most cordial 
expressIng, 
Drove on the oxen, and so the \vagon \vent forward. 
I waited, 
Still holding back my horses; for doubt arose in my 
bosonl, 
'Vhether \vith hurrying steeds I should go to the vil- 
lage, the viands 
'l\Iongst the rest of the cro\vd to dispense, or here to 
the Inaide.n 
All deliver at once, that she with discretion ll'JÏght 
share it, 
But \vithin tuy heart I quickly decided, and gently 
After her \vent, and o'ertook her soon, and lluickly 
said to her, 
, 'Tis not liuen alone, good lllaiden, to bring ill the 
carnage, 
That Iny Blather gave lne, where\vith to cover the 
naked; 
But she adùed thereto both meat and drink in abun- 
dance, 
And I have plenty thereof packed up ill the Lox of the 
carnage, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


17 


But now I feel inclined these presents, as well as the 
others, 
Into thy hand to give, thus best fulfilling nlY mission: 
Thou 'wilt dispense thenl \vith juclglllent, ",-hile I by 
chance nlust be guided.' 
Then replied the rnaiden: 'vVith all fidelity will I 
There dispose of your gifts, and the pOOl' shall richly 
en joy them.' 
Thus she spake, and quickly I opened the box of the 
carnage, 
Bringing out therefrom the loaves, anù the halns 
\veighing heavy, 
Bottles of wine and beer, and all the rest, to give to 
her; 
More would I fain have given her still, but the box 
was now empty. 
Then she packed them all by the feet of the mother, 
and so \vent 
On ward, while \vith all speed to the town I calne back 
with nlY horses." 


When now Hermann had ended, at once the talka- 
tive neighbour, 
Taking up the discourse, exclaimed: "Oh, that Inan is 
happy, , 
Who in these days of flight and confusion alone in his 
house lives, 
Having nor wife nor children to cringe before him in 
terror. 
Happy I feel myself now; nor would I to-day for 
much money 
. Bear the title of father, and have wife and children to 
care for. 
Often ere no\v about flight have I thought with my- 
self, and have packed up 
All the best of my goods together, - the chains and 
the old coins 


. 



18 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Of my late nlother, \vhereof not a thing has been sold 
to this rllonlent. 
l\fuch, to be sure, \vould be left behind not easy to 
furnish; 
Even nlY sÜnples and roots, collected there with much 
troll ble, 
I should be sorry to lose, though things of no very 
great value. 
Still, only let the dispenser remain, and I go \vith some 
cOlufort. 
Let IIle but rescue my cash and lllY body, and aU IS 
then rescued. 
Easiest frOln such troubles escapes the Ulan that IS 
single." 


" K eigh bour," replied thereupon young Hermann, \vith 
eluphasis speaking, 
" Not at all do I think as thou, and thy speech I ll1Ust 
censure. 
Is, then, he the best nlan, ,vho in prosperous days and 
in adverse 
ThiukR of hirnself alone, and to share his joys and his 
SOlTO\VS 
Kno\vs not, nor feels thereto in his heart the least 
j nclination ? 
. Sooner now than ever could I determine to marry. 
Many a good Inaid no\v stands in need of a man to 
protect her: 
Many a Ulan needs a ,vife to cheer him \vhen troubles 
are threatening." 


Sn1iling, said thereupon the father: "I hear thee 
with gladness; 
Such a sensible \vord in my presence thou seldoln hast 
spoken." 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


19 


But the mother at once chimed in, her part quickly 
taking; 
"Son, in good truth thou art right; aud thy parents 
set the exarnple. 
For they \vere no days of joy in which we chose one 
another, 
And our most sorro'wful hour but joined us the closer 
together. 
Next l\londay morning - I know it full well; for the 
day before happened 
That most terrible fire which gave our dear to\vn to 
destruction - 
It \vill be twenty years. It was, like to-day, on a 
SunJ.ay; 
Hot and dry was the season, and in the place little 
water. 
All the people ,vere out, taking walks in their holiday 
clothing, 
Scattered about the hamlets, and in the mills 1 and the 
taverns, 
Then at the end of the town the fire commenced, and 
the fian1e
 ran 
Quickly through the streets, with the wind theInsel ves 
had created. 
And the barns were burnt, with the rich and new- 
gathered harvest. 
And the streets ,vere burnt; right up to the market; lllY 
father 
Lost his house hard by, and this one soon perished 
with it. 
Little saved we in flight. I sat the sorrowful night 
through 
Out of the town, on the green, taking care of the beds 
and the boxes. 
Sleep at length fell o'er me; and when the cold of the 
mornlng, 
1 The mills in Germany are generally places of refreshment. 



20 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


}
alling down ere the sun was up, from my slumber 
a\voke me, 
There I saw the sIlloke, and the flame, and the old 
walls and chimneys. 
Then \vas Iny heart in anguish, until, lnore splendid 
than ever, 
Up caBle the sun once nlore, and into lny soul shed 
new courage. 
Then I arose \vith haste, for I longed the spot to 
exanune, 
'Yhere our d\velling had stood, and see if the fo\vls 
had been rescued, 
'Vhich I so fondly loved; for childish still \vere IllY 
feelings. 
As, then, I thus stepped on, o'er the ruins of house and 
of honlestead, 
Snloking still, and so found IllY hOlne, and beheld its 
destruction; 
Thou, too. searching the spot, camest up ill the other 
direction, 
 
Thou hadst a horse buried there in his stall; the tim- 
bers and rubbish 
GliInmering lay upon hin1, and nought could be seen 
of the poor beast. 
Thoughtful thus and sad \ve stood o\
r against one 
another; 
}"'or the \vall was fallen which erst had divided our 
houses. 
Then by the hand thou took'st me, and saidst: 
, Louisa, poor maiden, 
Ho\v earnest thou here? Go thy way! thou art burn- 
ing thy soles in the rubbish; 
For it is hot, and singes e'en these strong boots I am 
\veariug.' 
And thou didst lift me up, and carry me through thine 
own homestead. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


21 


Still there \vas standing the gate of the house, with its 
high vaulted ceiling, 
As it no\v stands; but that alone of all was re- 
nlalnIng. 


And thou didst set me do\vn, and kiss me, although I 
forbade it. 
But upon that thou spakest \vith kindly ,vords full of 
Ineanulg: 
'See, the house lies low. Stay here, and help IDe to 
build it ; 
And let lIle help, in return, to build thy father's up 
like\vise.' 
Yet did I not unùerstand thee, until to lilY father thou 

entest, 
And through my nlother full soon the vows of glad 
wedlock ,vere plighted. 
Joyfully still to this day I renlelllber the half-consumed 
tirn hers, 
And still joyfully see the sun arise in his splendour ; 
}1"or it was that day gave nle IHY husband; the son of 
IllY youth was 
:First besto\ved upon nle by those \vild tÎ1nes of de- 
struction. 
Therefore I praise thee, Hernlann, that thou, with 
bright trust in the future, 
In these sorrowful tÏ1nes of a lllaid for thyself, too, art 
thinking, 
And hast courage to \VOO in the \var, and over its 
ruins." 


Quickly then the father replied, with much anIma- 
tion : 
"Laudable is the feeling, and true, too, each ,vord of 
the story, 
Mother, dear, \vhich thou hast told, for su it happened 
exactly ; 



22 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


But \vhat is better is better. It is not becoming that 
each one 
Should frOln the past be content to form his \vhole life 
and C'ondition, 
Nor shuukl everyone choose, as we did, and others 
before him. 
Oh, how happy is he, to whom his father and nlother 
Leave the house well furnished, and 'who \vith success 
then aùorns it, 
Every beginning is hard, - the beginning of house- 
keeping hardest. 
Things of lllany a kind man wants, and all things 
gro\v daily 
Dearer; then let hÍIn in time provide for increasing 
his nlolley; 
And thus I cherish a hope of thee, my Hermann, that 
qnickly 
Into the house thou wilt bring thy bride with fine 
nlarriage-portiolls, 
For a high-spirited nlan deserves a well-endo\ved maiden; 
And it gives so lnuch pleasure, ",-hen \vith the dear 
\vife of his wishes 
COllle in the useful presents, too, in baskets and boxes. 
'Tis not in vain that the mother through many a year 
, , 
IS prepal'lng 
Linen of alnple store, of web fine and strong, for her 
daughter. 
'Tis not in vain that sponsors present their silver 
donations, 
And that the father lays by in his desk a gold-piece, 
though seldoln, 
For in due tinle shall she thus delight with her goods 
and her presents 
That young Hlen have nlade her, before all others, his 
chosen. 
Yes, I know, in her house ho\v pleasant the dear wife 
Blust finù it, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


23 


Both in kitchen and parlour, to see her own furniture 
standing, 
And herself her own bed, herself her own board, to 
have covered. 
May I but see in the house the bride that is hand- 
sOlnely portioned! 
:For the poor one at last is only despised by her hus- 
band, 
And as a servant she's treated, ,vho, servant-like, canle 
with a bundle. 
.l\len continue unjust, and the season of love passeth 
by thelll. 
Yes, illY Herrnann, thou wouldst to lIlY age grant 
highest enjoYlnent, 
If to lIlY house ere long thou shouldst bring TIle a dear 
little daughter 
Frolll the neighbourhood here, - from the house painted 
green over yonder. 
Rich is the Ulan, that's sure; and his trade and fac- 
tories make him 
Daily richer; for what does not turn to gain for the 
merchant? 
And there are only three daughters to share his pos- 
sessions anlongst theIne 
Won already, I know, is the eldest, and proIllised in 
marrIage; 
But the second and third may be had, though not long 
lnay they be so. 
Had I been in your place, till now I 'would not have 
tarried, 
One of the girls myself to bring here, as 1 did your 
rllother." 


l\lodestly then the son to his august father nlade 
answer: 
"Truly, lllY \vish, too, was, as yours IS, one of the 
daughters 



24 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Of our neighbour to choose; for ,ve all \vere brought 
up together; 
Round the spring in the lllarket in foruler tinles have 
,ve sported, 
And fronl the town-boys' rudeness I often used to pro- 
tect thenl. 
But that ,vas long ago; and girls at length, when they 
grow up, 
Stay, as is proper, at hOlne and avoid such \vild sport- 
ive meetings. 
Well brought ulJ they are, to be sure; still, frol11 for- 
mer acquaintance, 
As you \vished it, I \vent from tÏ111e to tinle over . 
yonder: 
But in their conversation I nevçr could fe
 1 III yself 
happy, 
Since they \vould always be finding fault, \vhich 
taxed lilY endurance. 
Quite too long was my coat, t he cloth \vas too coarse, 
and the colour 
Quite too com mon; and then my hair \vas not cut and 
curled rightly; 
So that at last I thought of bedecking myself like the 
shopboys 
Over there, ,vho on Sunday are ahvays displaying their 
fi O'ures 
ð , 
And whose lappets in SUl11nler, half silk, hang so 
loosely about them. 
But I observed soon enough that they ahvays to ridi- 
cule turned l11e; 
Which offende,d rue nluch, for my pride was wounded. 
More deeply 
Still did it vex rue to find they rnisunderstood the 
kind feeling 
Which I cherished for tlW1rb, - especially l\linnie, the 
youngest, 
For I went the last tÎIne at Easter to pay theru a visit, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


2S 


. 


And had donned IllY new coat, ,vhich now hangs up 
in the wardrobe, , 
And nlY hair I had got well curled, like the rest of the 
fello\vs, 
vVhen I ,vent in they tittered; but I to myself did not 
take it. 
At the piano sat l\Iinnie; her father also \vas present, 
Hearing his dear daughter sing, - entranced and in 
excellent spirits. 
l\Iuch ,vas expressed in the songs that surpassed lilY 
poor cOluprehension, 
But I heard a great deal of Pan1Ïna and of Talnino ; 
But since I did not like to sit dUlnb, as soon as she 
finished, 
Questions I asked on the words and the two chief 
characters in them. . 
Then they all at once were silent, and smiled; but the 
father 
Said, 'Our friend, sure, 'with none but Adanl and Eve 
is acquainted.' 

 0 one then refrained, but loud was the laugh of the 
maidens, 
Loud the laugh of the boys, while the old man held 
tightly his stolllach. 
Then I let fall lIlY hat through eln barrassrnent, and 
the rude titter 
Still went on and Oll, in spite of the singing and playing. 
Then did I hurry back to Iny hOlne in shalne and vex- 
atioll, 
Hung up lilY coat in the wardrobe, and drew illY. hair 
with nlY fingers 
Down to nlY head, and swore never Inore to pass over 
the threshold. 
And I was perfectly right; for vain they all are and 
loveless, 
And I hear that with them my name is always 
Tamino." 



26 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then replied the nlother, "Thou shouldst not, Her- 
o nlann, so long tilne 
,Angry be \vith the children, for children tbey are all 
tuO'ether 
b ' 
1linnie is certainly good, and for thee always showed 
all affection, 
And but lately she asked after thee; thou oughtest to 
choose her." 


Thoughtfully then the son replied: "I know not; that 
insult 
Hath so deep an Ünpression nlade on nle that truly I 
\vish not 
At the piano again to see her, and list to her singing." 


'Then the father broke out, and spoke \vith wråthful 
expressIons: 
"Slight is the juy I receive fronl thee; I have ever 
asserted 
That thou couldst show no taste but for horses and 
field operations. 
J liSt what a servant does for a IliaD of alllple posses- 
SIons, 
That dost thou; and nleanwhile the son nlust be nlÏssed 
by the father, 
"Vho still showed hinlself off to his honour before all 
the to,vnSlnen. 
Early thus \vith vain hope of tbee ùiù thy nlother 
. deceive 111e, 
'Vhen in the school never progressed thy reading and 
writing and learning 
As did that of the rest, but thy place was always the 
lowest. 
That Blust happen, of course, \vhen no anlbition is 
stirring 
In the breast of a youth, and he cares not to raise hinl- 
self higher. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


27 


Had IllY father fur me sho\vn the care \vhich on thee I 
ha ve lay ished, 
Had he sent me to school, and for 111e engaged the best 
Inasters, 
Then had 1 been something else than the host of the 
Golden Lion." 


But the son rose up and approached the door in deep 
silence, 
Slow, and without any noise; while the father, \vith 
wrath still increasing, 
After him called: "Ay, begone! I know thine obsti- 
nate temper; 
Go, anù attenù henceforth to the business, or fear my 
displeasure. 
But never think thou wilt bring, as a daughter-in-law 
to thy father, 
Into the house \vhere he Ii ves, a boorish girl and a 
trollop. 
Long have I lived, and with men I kno\v how to deal 
as I should do, 
Kno'w how to treat both ladies and gentlenlen, so that 
they leave 111e 
Gratined, - know how to flatter, as always is \velcome 
to strangers. 
But now at length I must find a dear daughter-in-law 
to assist me, 
And to s\veeten the toil \vhich I still shall bear in 
abundance. 
On the piano too, nlust she play to me, while are as- 
sen1 bled, 
Listening around her with pleasure, our burghers, the 
best and the fairest, 
As on Sunday is done in the house of our neighbour." 
Then Hernlann 
Softly lifted the latch, and so went out of the parlour. 



28 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE BURGHER. 
Thus, then, the modest son escaped that passionate 
language; 
}3ut the father went on in the selfsame ,yay he began 
In: 
"That which is not in n1an comes out of hÜn; and I 
can hardly 
Ever expect to bring n1Y heart's dearest wish to fulfil- 
men t, 
That my son nnght be, not his father's equal, but 
better. 
For, now, ,vhai were the bouse, and \vhat \vere the 
to\vn, did not each one 
Always think with desire of upholding and of rene\v- 
lng, 
Ay, and improving too, as tin1e and travel instruct 
us? 
Must not n1an in such case grow out of the ground 
like a mushroom, 
And as quickly decay on the spot which lately pro- 
duced hinl, . 
No single vestige behind him of vital activity leaving? 
Surely, one sees in a house the mind of the Inaster as 
clearly 
As in the town, where one \valks, of the magistrate's 
wisdonl he judgeth. 
For, where the towers and the walls are falling, where 
in the trenches 
Dirt is piled up, and dirt in all the streets, too, lies 
scattered ! 
Where the stone from the joining protrudes, with none 
to replace it, 
Where the bearn is decayed, and the hOllse, all idle and 
empty, 
Waits to be underpinned, afresh, - that place is iH- 
governed, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


29 


For, where the rulers \vork not for order and cleanli- 
ness always, 
Easily there the townSluen to dirty sloth grow accus- 
tOlued ; 
J list as his tattered clothes to the beggar beconle 1l10st 
falniliar, 
Therefore is it my wish that Hel'lllann, IllY son, on a 
Journey 
Soon should set out, and at least have a sight of Stl'as- 
burO' and Frankfort 
b , 
Anù the agreeable l\Ianhein1, with cheerful and regular 
outlines, 
For \vhoever hath seen cities large and cleanly, ,,,iB 
rest not 
Till his o\vn native to\vn, ho\vcvel' slnall, he eU1Lel1ish. 
Do not strangers connuend our gate,vays t-iince their 
Ünprovenlent, 
And our \vhiteneù tower, and our church restored so 
cOillpletely ? 
Does not each one extol our paveillents, and luains rich 
\vith \vater, 
Covered and well-divided, for usefulness and for as- 
surance 
That on its first breaking out a fire Inight at onee be 
kept under? 
Has not aB this been done since that terrible confla- 
gration ? 
Six times I acted as builder, and won the praise of the 
Council, 
And the n10st hearty thanks of the to\vnsrnen, for 
having suggested, 
And by assiduous efforts conlpleted, that good institu- 
tion, 
'\Vhich honest 111en no\v support, but before had left 
unaccomp1ished. 
Thus at length the desire pos
essed each 11lCIllher of 
Council ; 



3 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


All alike at present exert themselves, and the new 
causeway 
Is decided on quite, ,vith the great highroads to con- 
nect us. 
But I anl llluch afraid our youth will not act in this 
Dlanner, 
Some of whorn only think of the pleasure and show of 
the monlent, 
"Vhile others sit in the house, and behind the stove 
still are brooding; 
And ,vhat I fear is to see such a character always in 
HerIllann." 


Then replied at once the good and sensible mother: 
"Father e'en so to,vard our son thou art ever prone 
to in justice; 
And e'en so least of all ,,,ill thy ,vish for his good find 
fulfilnlen t. 
After our o'\vn inclinations we cannot fashion our 
children, 
But as God ga ve them to us, e'en so nlust we keep 
theIn and love thell1, 
Training thein up for the best, and then leaving each 
to iU1prove it. 
Gifts of one kind to one, of another belong to another; 
Each one doth use them, and each is still only good 
and successful 
In his peculiar way. Thou shalt not find fault with 
IllY Hermann, 
Who, I am sure, will deserve the fortune he'll some 
day inherit 
And be an excellent landlord, a pattern of townsmen 
and farmers, 
And not the last in the Council, - I see it already be- 
forehand. 
But in the poor boy's breast with thy daily blan1Ïng 
and scolding, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


3 1 


As hast thou done to-day, thou checkest all feeling of 
courage." 
Then she left the roon), and after her son quickly 
follo,ved, 
That, having sonlewhere found hinl, sbe might \vith 
soft words of kindness 
Cheer hin1 again; for he, her excellent son, well de- 
served it. 


When she had thus gone away, at once the father 
said, smi ling: 
" Truly a nlarvellous race are wonlen - as much so as 
chilùren ! 
Each of theln loves so to live just after her OWll 
proper liking; 
And one nlust do nothing then but always be praising 
and fondling, 
But once for all holds good that truth-speaking prov- 
erb of old time, 
'Who will not forelllost go, he comes in hindIDost.' 
So is it." 


Then replied to hÏ111 the druggist, \vith great cireuln- 
spection : 
" Gladly, neighbour, I grant you this, and for all that is 
better 
Ever ll1yself do look out, - if 'tis new \vithout being 
dearer. 
But is it really good, when one has not abundance of 
Illoney, 
Active and bustling to be, and in doors and O'ltt to be 
menùing ? 
N ny, too 111uch is the burgher kept back: increase his 
possessIons 
E'en if he could, he may not: his purse is ever too 
slender, 



3 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And bis need is too great; and so he is always im- 
peded. 
l\1any a thing had I done, but the cost of such altera- 
tions 
'Yho does not ,vish to avoid? above all in tÍ1nes of 
such danger. 
Long, ill tin1e past, nlY house in its dress of new 
fashion \vas laughing; 
Long ,vith ample panes throughout it the windows did 
glitter, 
But does the Blan \yho in this would VIe with the 
lnerchant, knO'w also, 
As he does, the best ,yay to lnake his property 
greater? 
Only look at the house over there -, the ne\v oDe;- 
ho\\
 handsoD1e 
ShO\VR ou its ground of green each, \vhite compartment 
of stucco! 
Large are the lights of the \vindo\ys; the panes are 
flashing and glea lning, 
So that the rest of the houses throughout the square 
stand in darkness. 
And yet, after the fire, 'v ere ours at first quite the finest, 
IVIille 'vith the Golden Angel, and yours with the 
Golden Ijon. 
So ,vas IHY garden, too, throughout the ,vhole neigh- 
Lourhood famous, 
Alld each traveller stood, and looked through the red 
palisading 
At the beggars in stone and the piglllies coloured so 
gayly. 
Then, when I gave a friend coffee \\!ithin the glorious 
shell-work, 
Which, to be sure, DO'V stands all dusty and ready to 
tun1ble, 
Great was the pleasure he took in the coloured sheen 
of the mussels, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


33 


Ranged ill beautiful order; alld eyen the conlloisseur, 
gazIng, 
Looked \vith dazzled eye on the crystals I of lead and 
corals. 
So did the paintings, tou, in the dl'a,,'ing-roo111 gain 
ad u1Ïl'ation, 
When fine lords and ladies \vere taking a walk in the 
garden. 
And \vith their ta p er finaers the tlo\vers \vere civ ill O' 
b b b 
and h ohlin g. 
Yes, who would now any I1101'e cast an eye upon that? 
:For vexation 
Scarce do I ever stir out: for all lllUst he modern and 
tasteful, 
As it is called, - the pails nlust be \vhite, and the 
seats n1ust be \yooden. 
Allno\v is sÜnple and plain; carved \vork and gildillg 
no Ion O'er 
b 
Will they elldure; alld no\V foreign wood is of an 
things rnost costly. 
'Vere I, no\v, so disposed to have 111)" things lle\vly- 
fashioned, 
Even to go ,vith the tin1es, and lIlY furniture often be 
chanuin a 
b b' 
Yet does everyone fear to nutke e'en the least alterations, 
ji"or who no\v can afford to pay the l)ills of the wOl'k- 
III ell ? 
'T\vas but lately I thought of having l\lichael the 
Angel, 
Who is the sign of my shop, again elubellished ,vith 
gilding, 
And the green dragon, too, winding under his feet; 
Lut I left him 
Dingy still, as he is; for the SUIll that they asked quite 
alarrned me." 


1 The original word Fìignifies properly a combination of lead aHd 
sulphur, often found in crystalline form. 



34 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


MOTHER AND SOX, 
Thus spake together the l11en in friendly converse. 
The 11lother 
'Vent nleanwhile ill front of the house, to search for 
her HerllHlllU 
On the bench of stone, the seat he Ino::,t often frequented. 
When she foullll hÜn not there, she went and looked 
in the stable, 
Whither the noble steeds of high courage claimed his 
attention, 
Which he had bought when foals, and which he en- 
trusted to no one. 
Then the servant said: "He is gone a,vay into the 
garden." 
Quickly then she stepped across the long double court- 
yard, 
Left the stables behind, and the barns all built of good 
tinlber, 
Into the garden ,vent, ,vhich extended right up to the 
town walls; 
Passed straight through it, enjoying mealHvhile the 
blooln of each object, 
Upright set the props on which the apple-trees' 
branches 
Rested, o'er1aden ,vith fruit, and the burdened boughs 
of the pear-tree, 
And froln the strong sInelliug kale picked a few cater- 
villars in passing; 
}i"or the industrious ,,,ife takes no single step that is 
useless. 
Thus had she conIe to the end of the garden, and up 
to the arbour, 
Covered with honeysuckles; but there no more of her 
Hernlann 
Sa 'v she, than she had seen in the garden she just now 
traversed, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


35 


But on the latch was left the wicket, \vhich out of the 
arbour, 
As an especial favour, their trusty forefather, the Inayor, 
Had in tÜlles gone by through the walls of the town 
got erected. 
Thus without any trouble she passed across the dry 
trenches, 
Where from the road close at hand \vent up the steep 
path of the vineyard, 
Well enclosed, and straight to the sun's rays turning 
its surface, 
This, too, she traversed throughout, and enjoyed the 
sight, while ascending, 
Of the abundant grapes, beneath their leaves scarcely 
covered. 
Sbaded and roofed-in with vines was the lofty walk in 
the centre, 
Which they ascended by steps of slab-stones rough 
from the quarry, 
And within it were hanging Gutédel anù 1\1 uscatel 
bunches, 
Wondrous in size, and e'en then displaying tints red 
and purple, 
Planted all \vith care, to the guests' dessert to add 
splendour. 
But with single plants the rest of the vineyard was 
covered, 
Bearing smaller grapes, from \vhich flows wine the 
rnost costly. 
Thus, then, she lllounted up, with glad thoughts 
already of autuInn, 
And of that festal day when the country in jubilee 
gathers, 
Plucking and treading the grapes, and in casks the 
s\veet must collecting ; 
While, in the evening, fire\vorks light up each spot 
and each corner, 



3 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


}lashing and cracking; and so full honour is paid ta 
the vintage. 
Yet she went ill at ease, \vhen the name of her son she 
had shouted 
T\vice or thrice, and echo alone in manifold voices 
:Fron1 the towers of the town 'with great loquacity 
ans\vered. 
It ,vas so strange for her to seek hÜn; he never had 
\vandered 
:Far; or he told it to her, - the cares of his dear loving 
lllother 
Thus to prevent, and her fears lest aught of ill should 
befall him, 
And she was still in pope that on the way she should 
find hinl; 
For the doors of the vineyard, the lo,ver and also the 
upper, 
Open alike were standing. Anù so the field she next 
. entered, 
With ,vhose further slo1-'es the back of the hill was all 
covered. 
Still on ground of her own all the tinle she was tread- 
ing, and pleasant 
Was it for her to see her o,,?n crops and corn nodding 
richly, 
vVhich over all the land with golden vigour was 
,va vlng, , 
Right bet,veen the fields she ,vent, on the green sward, 
the foot-path 
I{eeping stiH ill vie,v, and the great pear-tree on the 
slllon1Ït, 
"\\Tl1Ïch was the bound of the fields her house still held 


. . 
In possesSIon. 
vVho had planted it none could tell. Far and wide 
through the country 
There it ,vas to Le seen, and the fruit of the tree was 
most fa In OUS. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


37 


'Neath it the reaper \vas \vont to enjoy his meal in the 
midday, 
And in its shade the neatherd to 'wait the return of 
his cattle, 
Benches of rough stone and turf the seats they there 
found to sit on. 
And'she was not lnistaken; there sat her Hermann, 
and rested - 
Sat with his arm propped up, and seemed to gaze o'er 
the country 
Far a\vay tow'rd the mountain, his back turned full 
on his mother. 
Softly she stole up to him, and shook quite gently his 
shoulder ; 
And, as he quickly turned rO}lnd, she sa \v there were 
tears on his eyelids. 


"J\fother," he said, disconcerted, "your comIng sur- 
prised lne." Then quickly 
Dried he up his tears - that youth of excellent feel- 
Ings. 
"What! thou art weeping, n1Y son," his mother re- 
plied, with anlazement, 
" A.nd ll1Ust I to thy grief be a stranger? I ne'er was 
thus treated. 
Say, what is breaking thy heart? "Yhat urges thee 
thus to sit lonely 
Under the pear-tree here? 'Vhat brings the tears to 
thine eyelids? " 
Then the excellent youth collected himself, and thus 
ans,vered : 
fC He who beareth no heart in his brazen bosom now 
feels not, 
Truly, the \vants of men who are driven about in mis- 
fortune: 
He in whose head is no sense, in these days will take 
little troll ble 



3 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Studying 'what is good for hin1self and the land of his 
fathers. 
What I had seen and heard to-day filled Iny heart 
,vith disquiet; 
And then I can1e up here, and sa,v the glorious land- 
sca pe 
Spreading afar, and \vinding around us with fruit- 
bearing uplands. 
Sa,v, too, the golden fruit bowing dow}}, as if for the 
reaplug, 
Full of pl'on1Ïse to us of rich harvest and garners 
replenished. 
Oh, but, alas, ho,v near is the foe! The Rhine's flo\v- 
ing waters 
Are, to Le sure, our guard: yet what now are ,vaters 
and lllountains · 
To that terrible people ",
hich conles on thence like a 
tenlpest ? 
For they are calling together from every corner the 
young ll1en, 
Ay, and the old, and onward are urging \vith might, 
anù the nlasses 
Shun not the face of death, but lllRsses still press upon 
masses. 
And does a German, alas! in his house still venture to 
linger? 
Hopes he, forsooth, alone to escape the rnenaciug ruin? 
Dearest l\10ther, I tell you it fills me to-lIay \vith vexa- 
tion, 
That I \vas lately excused, \vhen from out our towns- 
men were chosen 
Men for the wars. To be sure, I'm the only son of 
lllY father, 
And our household is large, and of great importance 
our Lusiness ; 
But \vere I not doing better to take IllY stand far out 
yonder 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


39 


On the Larders, than here to wait for affliction and 
bondage ? 
Yes, my s}!irit hath spoken, and in my innermost 
bosom 
Courage and \vishes are stirred, to live for the land of 
my fathers, 
Ay, and to die, and so set a \vorthy exaluple to others. 
Truly, were but the might of our Gerrnan youth 
altogether . 
On the borders, and leagued not an inch to yield to 
the stranger, 
Oh, they should not Le allowed to set foot on our glo- 
rious country, 
And before our eyes consume our land's fruitful 
produce, 
Lay their commands on our Inen, and rob us of \vives 
and of TIlaidens. 
See, then, mother; within the depth of Iny heart I'm 
deterlnined, 
Quickly to do, and at once, what seenlS to nle right 
and judicious; 
For not always is his the best choice \vho thinks of it 
longest. 
Lo! I \vill not return to Iny hOlIle froIn the spot that 
I stand on, 
But go straight into to'\vn, and devote to the ranks 
of our soldiers 
This good arll1 and this heart, to serve the land of 
n1Y fathers. 
Then let nlY father say if my breast by no feeling of 
honour 
Be enlivened, and if 1 refuse to raise tnyself higher." 


Then with deep meaning replied his good and intel- 
ligent nlother, 
Sheùding the gentle tears which so readily canle to 
her e
Telids : 



4 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


"
on, 'what change is this that hath COllIe o'er thee 
and thy spirit, 
That to thy lllother thou speakest not, as yesterday 
and as ever, 
Open and free to tell DIe \vhat 'tis that \vould suit 
\vith thy wishes? 
Shoulù a third person hear thee at present discoursing, 
he doubtless 
'V ould both cOIlllnend thee Hluch, and thy purpose 
praise, as 1110st noble,- 
Leù away Ly thy \vords, and thy speech so full of deep 
lneanlng. 
Yet do I only blanle thee; for, 10! I kno\v thee luuch 
better. 
Thou art concealing thy heart, anù thy thoughts from 
thy words \videly differ, 
For it is not the druIll, 1 kno\v, nor the trunlpet that 
,calls thee, 
:N or in the eyes of the girls ùost thou \vish to shine in 
regÏ1n en tals. 
For, whatever thy valour and courage, 'tis still thy 
vocation 
Well to guard the house, and the field to attend to in 
quiet. 
Wherefore tell 111e, \vith frankness, what brings thee 
to this resolution?" 


Earnestly said the SOIl: "Y ou err, dear mother; 
one day is 
Not just like another; the youth into Inanhood will 
npen, 
Better oft ripen for action in quiet, than midst all the 
tUlllUlt 
Of a wild, roving life, \vhich to lllany a youth has 
been fatal. 
Thus, then, however calm I am, and was, In my 
bosom 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


4 1 


Still hath been moulded a heart which hateth wrong 
and injustice. 
Work, too, strength to Iny arm and power to my feet 
hath imparted. 
This, I feel, is all true, and boldly I dare to lllain- 
tain it. 
And yet, lllother, you blall1e nle \vith justice, since 
you have caught nle 
Dealing \vith \vords but half true, and with half dis- 
gllises of nleaning. 
For, let TIle sinlply confesR it, it is not the conling of 
danger 
That froIn IllY father's house now calls nle, nor 
thonghtR great and Roaring, 
Succonr to bring to the land of my sires, and its foes 
strike \vith terror. 
All that I spoke was mere \vords alone, intended to 
cover 
Those bitter feelings fronl thee, which nlY heart are 
tearing asunder. 
Oh, th
n, leave me, Iny nlother; for since all vain are 
the wishes 
Cherished here in nlY bosorn, in vain may my life, too, 
be \vasted, 
For I know that hirnself the individual injures 
Who deyotes binlself, when all for the comnlon ,ycal 
stri,
e not." 


"Do but proceed," so said thereupon the intelli- 
gent Blother, 
"All t.o relate to l11e, the chief thing alike and the 
snwllest. 
l\Iell are hasty, and think on the end alone; and the 
hast y 
Easily out of their path the least impedirnent driveth. 
But a woman is apt to look at the 1neans, and to 
tra vel 



4 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Even by roundabout ways, and so to accolnplish her 
purpose. 
Tell 1tle then all: what has moved thee to such excite- 
nlent as never 
Thou hast displayed before, - the blood in thy veins 
fiercely boiling, 
And, in spite of thy \viII, the tears from thine eyes 
gushing thickly?" 


Then the good youth to his paIn his \vhole being sur- 
rendered, and weeping, 
Weeping aloud on his mother's breast, said 'with deep- 
est emotion: 
"Truly, nlY father's \vords of to-day did grievously 
\vonnd Ine, 
Undeserved as they weré, alike this day and all 
others; 
For 'twas nlY earliest pleasure to honour my parents, 
and no one 
Cleverer seenled, or wiser, than they whon1 I thanked 
for my being, 
And for their earnest cOlllmands in the t\vilight season 
of childhooù. 
Much, in truth, had 1 then to endure fronl nlY l'lay- 
fellows' hunlolHs, 
vVhen for my good will to them full oft \vith spite 
they repaid rne. 
Many a tÏ1ue \vhen struck by stone, or hand, I o'e1'- 
looked it. 
But if they ever turned my father to sport, ,vhen on 
Sunday 
Out of church he came, with step of digllificd slo\\'- 
ness ; 
If they e'er laughed at the band of his cap, and the 
flowers on his loose go\vn, 
Which he so stately \vore, and ne'er tin to-day would 
abandon; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


43 


Fearlessl
 then did I clench Iny fist, and with furious 
passIon 
Fell I upon them, and struck and hit, ,vith blind, reck- 
less onset, 
Seeing noL \vhere my blows fell; they howled, and 
,vith blood-dripping noses 
Hardly escapeù fronl the kicks and strokes which I 
dealt in my fury. 
And thus grew I up, with much to endure from my 
father, 
Who fnll often to me, instead of to others, spoke 
chitling, 
When he ,vas nloved to wrath in the Council, at its 
last sitting; 
And I 
till had to pay for the strifes and intrigues of 
his colleagues. 
OfttÌ1nes did you yourself COffillliserate all that I suf- 
fereù, 
Wishing still frOln" my heart to serve and honour my 
parents, 
Whose sole thought was for our sake to add to their 
goods and possessions, 
Often denying themselves ill order to save for their 
chilùren. 
Oh, but it is not saving alone, anù tardy enjoy- 
nlent, 
Not heap piled upon heap, and acre still added to 
acre, 
All so cOlllpactly enclosed, - it is not this that lllakes 
happy. 
No, for the father grows old, and with him the sons, 
too, gro\v older, 
V oid of joy for to-J
y, and full of care for to-morrow. 
Look down there, anù say how rich and fair to the 
VISIO n 
Lies YO
l nonle expallRe, and beneath it the vineyard 
and garùen, 



44 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then the barns and stables, - fair ranges of goodly 
posseSSIons. 
Further Oll still I see the house-back, where, ill the 
gable, 
Peeping under the roof n1Y own little 1'00111 shows its 
'winùow.. 
And I reflect on the times \vhen there the 11100U'S late 
appeal'lng 
l\1any a llight I aw
aited, and many a 1110rning the SUll- 
rIse, 
When IllY sleep was so sound that only a fe\v hours 
\vere sufficient. 
Ah! all seenJS to 111e now as lonely as that little 
chalnlJer, - 
House, and garden, and glorious field outstretched on 
the hillside, 
All lies so ùreary before file: I want a partner to 
share it." 


Then replied to hin1 his good and intelligent 1110t her: 
" Son, thou clost not Inore vvish to lead a bride to thy 
charnLer, 
That the night nlay yield thee a lovely half of exist- 
ence, 
And the work of the day be lllore free ana 11101'e inde- 
pendent, 
Than thy father and I, too, \vish it. 'Ve always ad- 
vised thee, 
Ay, and have urged thee also, to n1ake thy choice of 
a n1aiden. 
Yet do I kno\v it well, and my heart this n101nent re- 
peats it, 
That till the Tight hour COlne, and with the right hour 
the right maiden 
Make her appearance, this choice BluSt relnain still in 
the distance, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


45 


And in most cases meanwhile fear urges to catch at 
the wrong one. 
If I must tell thee, my son, I believe thou hast chosen 
already ; 
Since thy heart is smitten, and sensitive more than is 
conlmon. 
Speak it then plainly out, for thy soul already de- 
clares it; 
Yonder nlaiden is she, - the exile, - whom thou hast 
chosen." 


"Dearest mother, thou sayest it," ,the son then 
quickly made ans\ver, 
" Yes, it is she; and unless as lIlY bride,! this day I 
nlay bring her 
HOllIe to our house, she goes on, and perhaps \vill van- 
ish for ever, 
In the confusion of ,val' and sad. journeyings hither 
anù thither. 
Then ever vainly for nle our rich possessions will 
prosper, 
And for these eyes ever vainly the years to come will 
be fruitful. 
Yes, the fan1Ìliar house and the garden become nlY 
averSIon, 
Ah! and the love of his 11lother, e'en that her poor 
son fails to comfort. 
For love loosens, I feel, all other ties in the bosonl, 
When it nHlkes fast her OWll; nor is it only the 
maiden 
That leaves father and mother to follow the youth she 
has chosen; 
But the youth, too, kno\vs no nlore of mother and 
father, 


1 The titles of " bride" and " bridegroom" are given in Ger- 
many to persons who are only engaged to be married. 



4 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


When he sees bis maiden, his only beloved, go from 
hiIn. 
'Vherefore let me depart where desperation now drives 
me; 
For my father hath spoken the \vards that must needs 
be decisive. 
And his house is no longer n1Ïne, if from it the 111aiùen, 
'Vhom alone I wish to bring honle, by hitn is excluded." 


Quickly then replied the good and sensible mother: 
" Two men, surely, stand like rocks in stern opposition; 
Still unnloved and l)roud will neither advallce toward 
the other; 
Neither nlove his tongue the first to words of good 
feeling. 
Wherefore I tell thee, SOil, in my heart the hope is still 
living, 
That if she be but worthy and good, to thee he'll be- 
troth her 
Though she is poor, and he the poor hath so stoutly 
forbidden. 
l\fany a thing he says, in his passionate ,,"'ay, which he 
never 
Cares to perform; and so it nlay be "Tith this his 
refusal. 
But he delnands a soft word, and Inay \vith reason 
demand it ; 
For he's thy father. We know, too, that after dinner 
his anger 
Makes hirn more hastily speak, and doubt the nlotives 
of others, 
Giving no reason; for wine the whole strength of his 
hot \vilful temper 
Then stirs up, nor lets hirrl attend to \vhat others are 
sa )"lng ; 
Only for what he says himself has he hearing or feel- 
Ing, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


47 


But the evening is now coming on, and long conversa- 
tions 
Ha ve ere thi
 been exchanged by him and his friendly 
cOlllpalllons. 
Gelltler, I'm sure, he nlust Le, when the fumes of the 
\vine have no\v left hÜn, 
And he feels the injustice be showed so keenly to 
others. 
Come! let us venture at once; nought speeds like the 
quickly-tried venture; 
And \ve require the friends who no\v sit with hÜn 
asseInbled; 
But, above all, the support of our worthy pastor will 
help us." 


Quickly thus she spoke, and herself from the bench 
of stone rising, 
Drew, too, her son from his seat, who willingly fol- 
lowed. In silence 
Both descended the hill, on their weighty purpose re- 
flecting. 


THE CITIZENS OF THE 'VORLD. 
11ean\vhile sat the three still incessantly talking to- 
aether 
b , 
With the pastor the druggist, and each by the side of 
the landlord. 
Ay, and the theine of their talk was still the selfsame 
as ever, 
Carried backw
rds and forwards, and well exaInined 
on all sides. 
Then the excellent vicar replied, with worthy reflec- 
tions : 
"I will not contradict you. I know luan must ever 
be striving 



4 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


After inlprovenlent, and still, as we see, he \yill also be 
stri vin a 
b 
After what is higher; at least he seeks sOlnething 
novel. 
But ye nHIst not go tou far. For cluse by the side of 
this feeling 
Nature hath also given the wi'3h to linger n1Ïd old 
thin us 
o , 
And to enjuy the presence uf \vhat has long been 
fanÜliar. 
Each condition is good that is sanctioned Ly nature 
and reason. 
:ì\Ian wisheth 111uch for hÍInself, and yet he \vanteth but 
little; 
For his days are but fe\v and his 11lortal sphere is con- 
tracted. 
Ne'er do I blanle the Ulan, \vho, constantly active and 
restless, 
Urged on and on, o'er the sea and along each path of 
the Inainland, 
Passes busy and bold, and elljoYll1ellt finds in the profits 
'Vhich are so richly heaped up, alike rounù hÌ1nself 
an d his children. 
But that character, too, ] esteeln, - the good quiet 
yeoll1an, 
Who \vith tranquil steps o'er the fields which his sires 
left behind thenl 
\Valks about, and attenù
 to the ground, as the hours 
nmy require hiln. 
Not for him each year is the soil still altered by 
cultu re ; 
Not for hinl does the tree, ne\vly planted, with hastiest 
Increase 
Stretch forth its boughs to heaven with blossoms lllOst 
richly 8lnbellished. 
No, the Ulan has need of patience, - has need, too, 
of simple, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


49 


Quiet, unvarying plans, and an intellect plain and 
straightfor\yard. 
Small is the llleasure of seed he COllllllits to the earth 
\vhidl supports hÌ111, 
Few are the beasts he is taught to raise by his Syst8111 
of breeding; 
For \vhat is useful is still the only object he thinks 
of. 
Happy the Ulan to ,,-honl nature hath given a ll1Ìncl so 
decided! 
He supporteth us all. And joy to the small town's 
good burgher, 
'\Vho \vith the countrYlllan's trade the trade of the 
burgher uniteth. 
On him lies not the pressure which cripples the COUll- 
tryman's efforts; 
Nor is he crazed by the care of the townSlllen \vith 
lnany requirements, 
Who, though scanty their means, \vith those \"ho are 
richer and higher 
Ever are wont to vie, - nlost of all their \vives and 
their ll1aidens. 
Bless, then, for ever, say I, the tranquil pursuits of thy 
Henllann, 
And of the like-n1Ïnded partner \vho by him 'will sonle 
day be chosen." 


Thus he spake; and just then caIne in with her son 
the good IlJother, 
Whonl she led by the hand, and placed in front of her 
husband. 
"Father," saiel she, "how oft have \ve thought, \vhen 
chatting together, 
Of that jovial day which \vould come, \vheu IIernlann 
hereafter, 
Choosing a bride for hinlself, conlpleted at length our 
enjoyment; 



50 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Backward and for\vard then ran our thoughts; now 
this one, now that one, 
Was the maiden we fixed on for him, in converse 
parental. 
Now, then, that day is COllIe; now heaven itself hath 
before him 
Brought and pointed out his bride, and his heart hath 
decided. ' 
Did we not always, then, say he should choose for hiln- 
self unrestricted? 
Didst thou not just now wish that his feelings lnight 
for SOllIe Inaiden 
Clear and lively be? N ow is CODle the hour that you 
wished for; 
Yes, he hath felt, and chosen, and COlne to a manly 
decision. 
That is the Dlaiden, - the stranger, - the one who met 
hilll this 111orning; 
Give her him; or, he hath sworn, he remains in single 
condition." 


Then spake to him his son: "Yes, gl ve her me, 
father; DIY heart hath 
Clearly and surely chosen; you'll find her an excellent 
daughter." 


But the father was silent. Then, rising quickly, the 
pastor 
Took up the talking, and said: "A single moment 
doth settle 
All concerning man's life, and concerning the ,vhole of 
his fortune. 
After the longest counsel, yet still each single decision 
Is but a mODlent's work; but the ",-ise man alone takes 
it rightly. 
Perilous is it always, in choosing, this thing and that 
thing 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


51 


Still to consider besides, and so be wilder the judgnlent. 
Henuann is clear in his views, from his youth long ago 
have I known him. 
E'en as a boy, he stretched not his hands after this 
thing and that thing, 
But ,vhat he wished did ahvays becolne him, and firmly 
he held it. 
Be not alafllled and astonished, that now at once is 
appearIng 
'Vhat you so long have ,vished. 'Tis true that just 
now that appearance 
\Vears not the form of the wish which by you so long 
hath been cherished; 
For frolll ourselves our wishes will hide what we wish; 
while our blessings 
Come to us do,vn froin above in the form that is 
proper to each one. 
Then nlisjudge not th'e nlaid, who the soul first woke 
to einotion 
In your ,veIl-beloved son, so good and so sensible like.. 
'VIse. 
Happy is that man to 'VhOlll her hand by his first love 
IS given, 
And 'v hose fondest vásh in his heart unseen doth not 
languish. 
Yes, I see by his look, his future lot is decided. 
Youth to fuÌl manhood at once is brought by a genuine 
passIon. 
He is no changeling; I fear, that if this maid you deny 
hÌIl1, 
All his best years will then be lost in a life of deep 
sorrow." 


Quickly then replied the druggist, so full of dis- 
cretion, 
From ,yhose lips the words to burst forth, long bad 
been ready: 



54 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Home to my house; if not, he may then think DO 
more of the maiden." 


Thus the sire. Then exclaimed the son, with fea- 
tures so joyous: 
" Now before night shall you have an excellent daugh- 
ter provided, 
E'en as the lllan llJUst ,vish, in whose breast lives a 
n1Ïnd full of prudence. 
Happy \vill be, too, then my good maiden, - I venture 
to hope so. 
Yes, she will ever thank IDe for having both father 
and III other 
Given her back in you, as sensible children 'would have 
them. 
But I must tarry no more; I'll go and harness the 
horses 
Quickly, and take out ,vith me our friends on the 
track of nlY loved une, 
Then leave it all to the lUen themselves and their own 
good discernInent; 
Whose decision, I swear, I \vill entirely abiùe by, 
And never see her again, until she is Inine - that 
sweet lliaiden." 
Thus went he out. ,Mean \vhile the others were weigh- 
ing with wisdonl 
Many a point, and quickly discussing each lllatter of 
moment. 


Hermann, then, to the stables sped, where the high- 
Inettled horses 
Quietly standing, their feed of clean white oats were 
enJoYIng, 
And their well-dried hay, that was cut in the best of 
the nleadows. 
Quickly, then, in their mouths he put the bright bits 
of their bridles, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


55 


Drew at once the straps through the buckles hand- 
sOlnely plated, 
Then, the long broaù reins to the bridle fastening 
securely, 
Led the horses out to the yard, ,vhere the quick will- 
ing servant, 
Guiding it ,veIl by the pole, the coach had already 
dra \vn fOl'\vard. 
Then ,vith ropes so clean, and fitted exactly in 
n1easure, 
Fastened they to the bar the might of the swift-dra\v- 
ing horses. 
HennanIl took the whip, sat down, and drove to the 
gateway, 
And as soon as the friends their roomy places had 
taken 
Speedily rolled on the carriage, and left the pavement 
behind them, 
Left behind theln the walls of the to\vn and the towers 
whitely Hhining. 
Thus drove Hermann on to the cåuseway now so 
familiar, 
Quickly, and did not loiter, but still drove up hill and 
down-hill. 
But when once again he descried the to,ver of the 
village, 
And at no distance once more lay the houses gardell- 
surrounded; 
Then he thought with himself it was time to pull in 
the horses. 


Shaded b:r linden-trees, which, in worthy pride 
high-exalted, 
Had for hundreds of years on the spot already been 
rooted, 
There was a ,vide-spreading space of green sward in 
front of the village, 



.5 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


\Vhere the peasants and burghers from neighbouring 
towns 111et for pleasure. 
There, beneath the trees, ,vas a well at slight rlepth 
froln the surface. 
As one \vent down the steps, the eye did light on stone 
ben ches, 
Placed all rou nel the :;::pring, \vhich still welled forth 
living \vaters, 
1'>ure, and enclosed in }(nv walls, for the conlfort of 
those \vho \vere dra\ving. 
There, beneath the trees, to stay \vith the carriage and 
horses 
Hernlann now determined, anrl thus addressed his 
companIons: 
cc Step no\v forth, nlY friends, and go and gain infornla. 
tiolJ, 
Whether, indeed, the lnaid be \vorthy the hand \vhÍ'ch 
I offer. 
Truly I think it, and so ye ,vould bring Ine no ne,v 
and strange tidings. 
Had I to act for IHyself, I \vould go straight on to the 
village, 
And with words short and few the good girl should 
decide on my fortune. 
And anlongst all the rest you will soon be able to 
kno\v her; 
For it were hard, indeed, for any to Inatch her in 
figure. 
But I will give you, further, SaIne marks frolIl hfT 
dress clean and siulple. 
Red is the bodice that gives support to the s,vell of 
her bosom, 
Well laced up; and black is the jacket that tightly 
lies o'er it ; 
Neat the chelnise's border is plaited in fornl of a collar, 
Which encircles her chin, so round 'with the charills of 
its whiteness; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


57 


Freely and fairly her head displays its elegant oval; 
Twisted strongly and oft are her plaits round hairpins 
of silver; 
Full and blue is the skirt \vhich beneath the. bodice 
comnlences, 
And, as she walks along, flaps round her neatly-shaped 
ankles. 
Oue thing still \vill I say, anL1 frOIU you expressly 
request it: 
Do not speak to the Inaiden, nor let your purpose ùe 
noticed; 
But you 111 ust question the others, and listen to all 
they luay tell yuu. 
'Vhen you get tidings suíticient to quiet my father and 
1110th er, 
Then COllle back to 1ne, and we'll think of our further 
proceedings. 
This is \vhat I planned on the \yay, as we drove along 
hither." 


Thus he spake. But his friends forthwith went on 
to the village, 
'Vhere in gardens, and barns, and houses the mass of 
people 
Crowded, \vhile cart upon cart along the wide road 
was standing. 
There. to the lowing cattle and teams the lileD gave 
attention; 
On all the hedges the WOlnen their clothes were busily 
drvin 0' . 
J 0' 
.,t\..lld in the brook's shallo\v \vater the children delighted 
to dabble. 
Thus they \vent pressing on through wagons, through 
lIlen, and through cattle, 
Looking about right and left, as spies despatched for 
the purpose, 



58 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Whether they 111ight not descry the form of the girl 
they had heard of; 
But not one of them all seemed to be that excellent 
maiden. 
Soon they found the crush becolne greater. There, 
round the wagons, 
Threatening Inell were at strife, while the wornen 
mixed ,vith thelTI screaming. 
Quickly then an elder, with steps full of dignity 
walking, 
Up to the bra\vlers came, and at once the hubbub ,vas 
silenced, 
As he cOllllllanded peace, and \vith fatherly earnestness 
threatened. 
"Hath not misfortune," he cried, "e'en yet so tamed 
our fierce spirits, 
That we should understand at length, and bear with 
each other, 
Living in peace, - though not each one by this rule 
luetes out his conduct? 
Careless of peace, to be sure, is the prosperous man; 
but shall trouble 
Fail to teach us, no IHore, as erst with our brother to 
quarrel. 
Nay, to each other give place on the stranger's soil, and 
toaether 
b 
Share what ye ba ve, that so ye may 11leet ,vith com- 
passion fronl others." 


Such were the ,vords of the man, and they all in 
silence and concord, 
Thus appeased once more, arranged their cattle and 
wagons. 
When now the clergyman heard the speech which the 
elder had spoken, 
And the pacific views of the stranger judge had dis- 
covered, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


59 


Straight up to him he ,vent, and addressed hÌ1n with 
,vords full of meaning: 
"Father, 'tis true that \vhen TI1en live in prosperous 
days in their country, 
Gaining their food from the earth, which far and wide 
opes her bosoln, 
And through years and n10nths rene\vs the gifts that 
they \vish for, 
All then comes of itself, and each in his own eyes is 
,visest, 
Ay, and best; and this is their standing, one with 
another, 
And the nlost sensible man is esteemed but the same 
as his neighbour; 
Since in quiet proceeds, as if of itself, all that happens. 
But should distress disturb the usual Inodes of exist- 
ence, 
Tear the buildings down, and root up the garden and 
corn-field, 
Drive the man and his wife from the site of their 
d,velliug familiar, 
And, as ,vanderers, drag them through days and nights 
full of anguish; 
Ah! then look they around for the man of the best 
understanding, 
And no longer he utters his excellent words to no 
purpose. 
Tell mt', father; you are, no dOll bt, the judge of these 
exiles, 
Who so quickly did shed the caIn) of peace o'er their 
spirits; 
Yes, you appear to me as one of those leaùers of old- 
tinle, 
Who the exiled people through deserts and 'wanderings 
guided ; 
Surely, rnethinks I am talking with Joshua, if not with 
Moses." 



60 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Then with earnest look the judge addressed him in 
answer, 
" Truly, our times may compare with those of rarest 
occurrence 
Noted in history's page, alike the profane and the 
sacred. 
He \v ho in days like these his life but from yesterday 
reckons, 
Hath already lived years: so crowd the events in each 
story. 
If but a short \vay back I travel in thought, on my 
head seen1S 
Gray-haired age to be lying; and yet Iny strength is 
still lively. 
Oh, we nlay ,veIl compare ourselves with those others 
so famous, 
Who, in solemn hour, in the fiery bush saw appearing 
God, the Lord; to us, too, in clouds and fire He 
appeareth." 


While now the vicar was fain the discourse still 
further to lengthen, 
Longing to hear from the nlan his o\vn and his coun- 
trymen's fortunes, 
Quickly ,vith whispered words in his ear observed his 
con1panlon : 
" Talk on still with the judge, and turn the discourse 
on the maiden, 
While I am walking about to look for her; and J win 
con1e back, 
Soon as I find her." The vicar, ,,-ith nod, expressed 
his approval, 
And through the hedges, and gardens, and sheds the 
spy began seeking. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


61 


THE AGE. 
When the clergYlnan thus to the stranger judge put 
his questions, 
What were his people's woes, and how long from their 
land they \vere driven; 
Theil the Inan replied: "Of no short date are our 
troubles; 
:For of continuous years the bitter dregs we have 
drunken, 
All the Inore dreadful, because our fairest hopes were 
then blasted. 
For, indeed, \vho can deny that his heart \vas highly 
elated, 
And in his freer bosonl far clearer pulses \vere 
beating, 
When first rose o'er the \vorld that ne\v-born Run in its 
splelldour, 
\Vhen we heard of the' rights of nlan, ,vhich to all were 
no\v conllllon, 
Heard how freedolll inspired, and equality won the 
'world's praises? 
Then did each Inan hope. to live for himself; and the 
fetters, 
Veenled to be loosed, \vhich had thro\vn their links 
over l11any a country, 
And ill the land of sloth and selfishness long \vere held 
tightly. 
Did not each man look, in those days of pressing 
excite III en t, 
Toward the city which long the world its capital 
reckoned, 
And \vhich 110\V 1110re than ever deserved the nlagnifi- 
cent title? 
'Vere not, too, those 111e11 \vho first pl'oclain1ed the good 
tidings 



62 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Equal in naHle to the highest belleath the stars up in 
heaven ? 
Did not every man's mind, and spirit, and language, , 
grow greater? 


And, as their neigh bours, \ve first were fired with 
lively eBlotion. 
Then the \var began, and the columns of ne\Vly-arllleÙ 
Frenclullell 
Nearer dre\v; but they seelned to bring \vith theln 
nothing but friendship. 
Ay, and they brought it, too; for the souls of therll all 
\vere elated, 
And for all \vith pleasure they planted the gay tree of 
freedolll, 
Promising each loan his own, and that each should be 
his o\vn ruler. 
Great was then the elljoynlent of youth, and great that 
of old age. 
And the gay lllerry dance began around the new 
standard. 
Thus did they quickly ,,,in - those }-'renclllnen sur- 
passing in talen t - 
First the souls of our men. by their fiery reckless 
ad venture, 
Then our \vornen's hearts Ly their irresistible graces. 
Light \ve deelned e'en the pressure of \val', \vith its 
\Vallts great and Inall)"; 
Since, before our eyes, bright hope hovered over the 
distance, 
And allured on and on our look to the new-opened 
courses. 


Oh ! how glad is th
 tilne, \vhen along with his bride 
the gay bridegroorn 
Lightly trips in the dance, his longed-for Inarriage 
a waiting! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


63 


But l110re glorious still \vas the time, when the loftiest 
objects 
Man can think of appeared nigh at hand, and of easy 
attainluent. 
Then \vas everyone's tongue untied, and loudly they 
uttered, 
Graybeards, anù men, and youths, their high inten- 
tions and feelings. 


But the heavens \vere clouded too soon; for the 
prize of don1Ïnion, 
Strove a corrupted race, unn1eet to produce what \vas 
nohle. 
Then they sle\\" one another, and crushed with the 
yoke of oppression, 
Then ne\\" neighbours and brothers, and sent forth the 
self-seeking masses. 
And an10ngst us the high \\-ere debauching and ruL- 
Ling by \vholesale, 
And the low were debauching and robbing, e'en down 
to the lowest; . 
Each lnan seemed not to care, if but sOll1ething \vere 
left for the InorroW. 
Great, indeeù, \vas our need; and greatly increased 
our oppressIon; 
Noone heeded our cry; of the day they \vere abso- 
lute n1asters. 
Then fell vexation and rage upon even the tranquillest 
spirit ; 
Each one but thought and swore for aU his \vrorigs to 
take vengeance, 
And for the bitter loss of his hope thus doubly 
defrauded. 
Fortune changed at length to the side of the suffering 
Germans, 
And \vith hasty Inarches the Frenchrnan fled back 
tow'rd his country. 



64 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Ah! Lut never till then did we feel the sad dOOlll of 
\varfare ! 
Great, and generous, too, is the victor, - at least he 
appears so,- 
And he doth spare, as ODe of his own, the Ulan he has 
vanquished, 
When he is daily of use, and with all his property 
serves hirn. 
But the fugitive kno\vs 110 law, if but death he may 
ward off; 
And without any regard he quickly destroys \vhat is 
preCIOUS, 
Since his spirit is heated, and desperation brings 
for-ward 
Out of the depth of his heart each lurking villainous 
purpose. 
N ought thinks he sacred no\v, but he roLs it. His 
\vildness of passion 
Rushes by force upon \VOnlan, and takes a delight in 
all horrors. 
All around he sees death, and in cruelty spends his 
last mornents, 
Finding enjoyn1ent in blood, and in lnisery's loud 
lamen tations. 


Wrathful then in our men rose up the spirit of 
daring, 
Both to avenge the lost, and to save their reJl1aining 
possessions. 
All then seized on their arms, allured by the haste of 
the flying, 
And by their faces so pale, and their looks so. timid 
and doubtful. 
Ceaselessly no\v rang out the sound of the sullen 
alarm-bell, 
Nor did the danger before them repress their furious 
courage. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


65 


Quickly into weapons the peaceful tools of the farmer 
Now wére turned; ,vith blood the fork and scythe 
were all dripping. 
N one showed grace to the foe in his fall, and none 
showed forbearance. 
Everywhere raved courage or weakness malignant as 
timid. 
o ll1ay I never again in such contemptuous madness 
Look upon man! The beast in his rage is a pleasanter 
object. 
Ne'er let him speak of freedom as though himself he 
could govern! 
Loosed frOln their ballds appear, ,vhen the checks are 
gone that restrained them, 
All bad things, which the la,v into holes and corners 
had driven." 


"Excellent sir," replied the VIcar, with emphasis 
speaking, 
"If you have misjudged lnan, I cannot on that account 
blame you. 
Evil enough, to be sure, have you borne frolD that 
wild undertaking. 
Still, if you would but look once III ore through the 
days of your sorrow, 
You would yourself confess, how often you sa,v what 
was good, too, 
l\lany an excellent thing, which renlains in the heart 
deeply hidd en, 
Shoulù not danger incite it, and Iuan by need be 
pressed forward 
E' en as an angel, or guarùian-god, to seen1 to his 
neigh bour." 


Sn1Ïling then replied the judge so aged and ,vorthy: 
"Sensibly do you ren1Ïlld llle, as oft, when a house has 
been burnt down. 



66 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


l\len to the o,vner recall in his sadness the gold and 
the silver, 
Which, though lllolten and scattered, lies still pre- 
served in the rubbish; 
Little it is, to be sure, hut even that littJe is precious, 
Anù the poor nian digs for it, and ,vhen he has found 
it rejoices. 
And just so arn I glad to turn IllY thoughts, full uf 
brigh tness, 
Back to those few good deeds which Iuenlory still 
loves to cherish. 
Yes, I have seen, I will not deny it, foes joining in 
concord, 
That they lnight save the town frorn threatening evil I 
seen friends, too, 
And J.ear parents and children on what was inlpossible 
venture; 
Seen the stripling at once grow up into manhood,- 
the gray-beard 
Young once more, - and e'en the child into stripling 
develop; 
Ay, and the ,veaker sex, as 'tis our custonl to call 
it, 
Sho'w itself valiant and strong, and for presence of 
n1Ïnd justly fanlons, 
Thus let me no\v relate, above all, that action n10st 
noble, 
Which with high soul a Inaiden perforn1ed, - the 
excellent virgin- 
Who in the large farrnhouse stayed behind along with 
the Y OUDO' O'irls' 
h b , 
Since the n1en had all gone, like the rest, to fight 'with 
the strangers. 
Then can1e into the yard a troop of ,vandering, 
rabble, 
Bent upon plunder, and quickly rushed into the 
women's apartrnent. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


67 


There they nlarked the form of the well-gro\vn beauti- 
ful luaiden 
And those lovely girls, - or, to call thelll more 
properly, children. 
Then, with wilù passion possessed, they n1ade an 
assault \vithout feeling, 
On that treIllbling banù and on the InagnanÎ1nous 
nlaiden. 
But fronl the side of one she instantly tore the bright 
sa Lre, 
Brought it down \vith Inight, and before her feet he 
fell LleeJ.ing. 
Then with manly strokes the girl she valiantly res- 
cued, 
Wounding four Inore of the robbers, though these 
escaped death by flying; 
Then she secured the yard, and \vith weapon in hand 
waited succour." 


When the clergyman thus had heard the praIse of 
the maiden, 
Hope for the friend he loved at once lnounted high in 
his bosoln; 
And he \vas on the point of asking her subsequent for- 
tunes, 
'\Vhether along \vith the people she no\v were in sor- 
rowful exile. 


But with hasty steps just then the druggist came to 
theIn, 
Pulled the clergyman's arnl, and ,vith ,vhispered words 
thus adùressed hÏ1n: 
" Surely at last I have fonnd the nlaid out of luany a 
h un dred, 
As the description ran! So COlne yourself to behold 
her, 



68 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And bring ,vith you the judge to tell us still further 
about her." 
Purposing this they turned; but the judge nleanwhile 
had been Slllllilloned 
By his o,vn }?eople a,vay, ,vho, in ,vant of counsel, 
required hinl. 
But the vicar at once prepared to follo,v the druggist, 
Up to the gap in the hedge; and the latter, cunningly 
pointing, 
Said: "Do you see her, - the Inaiden? The doll she 
has swaddled already, 
And ,yell enough do I know, no,v I see it again, the 
old satin, 
And the old cushion-cover, which Hermann brought in 
the bundle. 
These are significant nlarks, and the rest are all in 
accordance. 
}"or the red bodice affords support to the R\vell of her 
bosonl, 
'Vell laced up; and there lies the jacket of black 
tiuhtlv o'er it . 
b J , 
Neat the chemise's border is plaited in forIn of a collar, 
Which encircles her chin so round ,vith the channs of 
its whiteness; 
Free and fairly h8r head displays its elegant oval; 
.Lr\.ncl the thick plaits are t,visted and fastened round 
hairpins of silver. 
Though she is sitting, we still can see the height of her 
statu re, 
And the blue skirt, which in full and numerous folds 
from the bOSOlll 
Gracefully ,vaves below, and extends to her neatly- 
shaped ankle. 
Without doubt it is she. So conle that ,ve nwy 
exalnlne 
Whether she virtuous be and good, - a maiden 
dOlllestic." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


6<) 


Then the vicar replied as he looked at the sitting 
girl keenly, 
" That she enchanted the youth is to lIle, most surely, 
no wonder; 
For she stands proof to the eye of the man of finest 
perception. 
Happy to 'VhOlll mother-nature a pleasing person hath 
given! 
It doth conlnlend him always, and no,vhere is he 
a stranger ; 
Each one likes to be near hinl, and each one would 
gladl y detain hinl, 
If but the grace of his manner to that of his person be 
suited. 
Be "veIl assured the youth has succeeded in finding a. 
maiden 
Who o'er the future days of his life ,viII shed glorious 
lustre, 
And ,vith the truth and vigour of 'v oman at all times 
su pport hÏ1n. 
Thus, sure, perfection of body the soul also keepeth in 
brightness, 
And thus a vigorous youth of a happy old age still 
. ." 
gIves prOllllSe. 


But to that lllade reply the druggist, inclined to be 
dOli bUul : 
"Yet doth appearance more often deceive; I trust not 
the outside; 
Since in tÜnes past so oft I have proved the truth of 
the proverb, 
'Ere thou hast eaten a bushel of salt with thy ne,v- 
made acquaintance, 
Lightly thou nlust not trust him; 'tis tÜlle alone can 
assure thee, 
'Vhat thy position is with him, and what thy friend- 
ship's endurance.' 



7 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Let us, then, first address to honest people sonle ques- 
tions, 
'Vho both kno\v the Inaid, anù \vill give us intelligence 
of her." 


" I, too, approve of foresight," the pastor replied, as 
he follo\ved, 
" Nor do \ve \VOO for ourselves; and wooing for others 
is ticklish." 
And upon that they went to meet the good judge, 
viho \vas cOIning 
Back again u}J the road, intent, as before, on his 
business. 
Then the vicar at once addressed hÜn \vith words of 
precaution: 
" Say! we have seen a lnaiden, \vho, in the garden 
close by here, 
Under the apple-tree sits, and makes up clothing for 
children 
Out of Sallie 'worn-out satin, received, I suppose, as a 
presen t. 
'Ye 'were well pleased \vith her fornl; she seenlS one of 
those full of spirit. 
vVhat, then, you know of her, tell us; we ask from a 
laudable Illuti ve." 


When now the judge straightway went into the 
garden to see her, 
" Nay, ye kno'w her," he said, "already; for \vhen I 
related 
Of the nlost noble deed ,vhich that young maiden 
accolllplished, 
When she seizell the s\vord, and herself and those \vith 
her defended, 
This ,vas she ! You may see by her look that robust 
is her nature 
But as good as strong; for she nursed her aged relation 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


7 1 


Up to the day of his death, ,vhen torn a,vay by 
affliction 
For the distress of the town, and fear for his threatened 
possessIons. 
Ay, and with silent courage she bore her heart's bitter 
allguish 
At her bridegroolll's death, who, a youth of generous 
feelin a - 
n' 
In the first glow of high thoughts, for precious free- 
dOln to struggle, 
Even departeù to Paris, and terrible death soon en- 
countered; 
For, as at home, so there he opposed the tyrant and 
plotter." 
Thus, then, spake the judge. With thanks both ,vere 
()'oin ()' to leave hinl 
b b ' 
When the pastor drew forth a gold piece (the silver 
already 
Had, SODle hours before, left. his purse in kind distri- 
butioll, 
When he saw the poor exiles in sorrowful cro,vds 
passing by hiIn), 
And to the judge he held it out, and said: "This poor 
farthing 
Share thou anlongst the needy, and God to the gifts 
grant an increase!" 
Yet did the man refuse, anù said: "Nay, Lut Inanya 
dollar 
And much clothing and stuff from the wreck of our 
fortunes we rescueù, 
And shall again, I trust, go back before all is ex- 
ha usted." 


Then replied the vicar, and into his hand pressed the 
money, 
"No one should wait to give in these days of trouble, 
and no one 



7 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Should refuse to accept what to hinl In kindness IS 
offered. 
No one kno'\Vs how long he Inay hold his peaceful pos- 
seSSIons, 
No one ho\v long still in foreign lallùs he Jnay wander, 
And be \vithout the field and the garden, ,vhich ought 
to nlaintain hinl." 


" Ay, indeed," then observed the druggist, that keen 
lllan of business, 
" Did no,v lHY pocket but hold any llloney, you quickly 
should have it, 
Large coin or snlall alike; for your people's ,vants 
111USt Le Hlany. 
Yet will I not let yon go váthuut a gift; that my 
wishes 
Still lllay be seen, however the deed may fall short of 
the wishes." 
Thus he spake, and forward the leathern pouch well 
enl broidered 
Drew by the string, ill 'which ,vas kept his tobacco, 
and opening, 
Nicely shared it with hinl; and nlany a pipeful was 
found there. 
"Slnall is the gift," he added; to ,vhich the judge 
quickly answered, 
" Nay, but good tobacco to travellers ever is wel- 
conle." 
And upon that the druggist Legan to praise his Kan- 
aster. 


But the good vicar then drew him away, and the 
judge they now quitted. 
"Haste we," said the nlan of goud sense; "the young- 
ster is ,vaiting 
Painfully; let him then hear ,vith all possible speed 
the good tidings." 



. 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


73 


So they hastened and can1e, and fpund their young 
friend on the carriage 
Leaning there beneath the lindens. The horses were 
staniping 
Wildly upon the turf, and he held them in check, and 
stood thoughtful, 
Silently looking before hÜll, nor sa\v his friends till the 
nlU ment 
When they canle to hirn with shouts and signs of their 
gladly returning, 
Even when still at a distance the druggist began to 
address hin1 ; 
Yet still they appl
oachecl unperceived. Then his 
hand the good vicar 
Seized, and said, thus snatching away the word frOIrI 
his conlrade: 
"Joy to thee no\v, young man! Thine eye and thy 
heart truly guided 
Rightly have chosen. Good luck to thee and thy 
youth's bloon1Ïng partner. 
Worthy is she of thee! Then come and turn round 
the carriage, 
That \ve may drive with all speed, till we come to the 
end of the village, 
And, having wooed her, at once may take to your 
house the good maiden." 


Yet did the youth stand still, and without any tokens 
of pleasure 
Heard the Inessenger's \vord, though of heavenly 
power to give cOlufort. 
Then with a deep sigh he said: " "\Ve carne with 
hurrying carriage, 
And we shall drive back home, perhaps, 'with shan1e 
and full slowly. 
For, while \vaiting here, a load of care hath COlne 
Q'er me, 



74 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


. 


Doubt and suspicioll, and all that afflicts a lover's 
heart only. 
Think ye, that if we but go, the maiden will surely 
conle \vith us, 
Since \ve are rich, and she a poor and \vandering 
exile? 
Poverty, undeserved, e'en lliakes nlen prouder. Con- 
tented 
Seelns the lllaiden and active, and so has the world at 
her SUIIllllOllS. 
Think ye there ever grew up a WOlnan of beauty and 
feeling 
Such as hers, 'without luring some good youth on to 
adore her? 
Think ye she hath not yet her heart to love ever 
opened? 
Go not thither so, fast; we might, to our shame and 
confusion, 
Turn back slowly home our horses. The fear doth 
possess IIle 
That sonle youth owns her heart, and the excellent 
lllaiden already 
Hath both plighted her hand and her true love 
breathed to that Llesseù one. 
Ah! then, indeed, shall I stand before her ashamed of 
my offer." 


To console him the VIcar his mouth already had 
opened, 
But, in his talkative way, his companion did thus in- 
terru pt h Ï1n : 
" Surely ill fonner times we should not have thu'3 been 
en1barrassed, 
When in its o\vn proper way each business was 
brought tu conlpletion. 
Then, if e'er for their son a bride the parents had 
chosen, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


75 


First a friend of the house in whom they trusted was 
summoned. 
He, then, as wooer was sent, and begged to confer 
,vith the parents 
Of the selected bride; and, dressed in his finest ap- 
parel, 
A,fter dinner on Sunday he paid the good burgher a 
visit, 
Interchanging ,vith hilll at first on general topics 
Friendly '\Vor<ls, and ,veIl skilled to direct and lead 
round th e subject. 
After llluch beating about, the daughter ,vas at length 
commended, 
And the man and his house froIIl wholn he received his 
, commISSIon. 
Sensible people perceived his object; the sensible 
envoy 
Soon perceived their ,vishes, and might explain hin1self 
further. 
If they disliked the offer, there then was no painful 
refusal. 
J3ut if it proved successful, the ,vooer ,vas then ever 
after 
First to be seen in the house at each domestic re- 
JOIcIng: 
For the good married couple their ,vhole life through 
did re111el11Ler 
That the first kllOb; were tied by the hands comrnis- 
sioned to tie thenl. 
But all that is now, with other such excellent 
custonls, 
Quite gone out of fashion, and each for himself is the 
wooer. 
Wherefore let each himself in person receive the 
refusal 
Destined for him, and stand ,vith shame before the 
proud D1aiden." 



7 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" Be it e'en as it Inay !" replied the youth, who had 
scarcely 
IleaI'd all the ,vords, and in silence had formed his 
own resolutioll. 
"I will in person go, and in person learn what my 
doonl is, 
Out of the rnaiden's Inouth, in ,vh a ITJ IllY trust is the 
greatest 
l\Iall ever yet toward ,vonlan ,vithin his boson1 di( 1 
cherish. 
'Vhat she says must be true, and accurding to reason; 
I kllO'W it. 
If for the last tiITle no,v I Blust see her, yet once, and 
once only, 
Will I the open gaze of that Llack eye go to encoun- 
ter. 
Though to my heart she lnay ne'er be pressed, yet 
thai breast and those shoulders 
Will I yet once Inure see, ,vhich lilY arlll so longs to 
encircle; 
Once more 'will see that lnouth, from ,vhich one kiss 
and one ' Yes' ,vould 
l\lake Ine happy for ever, - one' No' for ever unùo nle. 
But no,v leave lHe alolle; you lnust not 'wait, but 
returning, 
Go to my father and lllother, that'they nlay learn fronl 
your story 
That their son did not err, and that there is worth in 
the rnaiden. 
And so leave me alone. By the foot-path over the 
hillside 
""ViII I go 'back by a nearer way. And, oh, that Iny dear 
one 
I nlay with joy and speed lead honle! But perhaps 
by that foot-path 
I may slink lonely home, and never agaIn tread it 
gladly." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


77 


Thus he spake, and put the reins in the hand of the 
VIcar, 
'Vho received them with skill and comnland o'er the 
foam-covered horses, 
Quickly mounted the carriage, and sat in the seat of 
the driver. 
But thou still didst tarry, thou prudent neighbour, and 
saidest : 
"Gladly, my friend, \vith soul, and mind, and heart, 
would I trust thee; 
But thy body and lin1bs are not preserved 11l0st 
securely, 
When to the secular rem the ghostly hand makes 
pretension." 


But thou didst snlile at that, thou sensible vicar, and 
said est : 
"Take but your seat, and your body CODllnit to me, 
e'en as your spirit. 
Long ago has this hand been trained to wield the reins 
deftly, 
And this eye is ,veIl skilled to hit the turn nlost artistic. 
:For 'twas our custoln at Strasburg to drive full oft in 
the carriaae 
o , 
When I accompanied thither our good young barons; 
and daily 
Rolled through the sounding gate\vay our carriage, \vith 
me as the driver, 
Out on the dusty roads, far away to the meadows and 
lin1e-trees, 
Right through the n1Ïdst of the cro\vds who the live- 
long day spend in 'walking." 


] Ia1f assured, upon that, the druggist nlounted the 
carnage, 
Sitting as one who prepared a prudent leap to accom- 
plish ; 



7 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And the steeds galloped home, with thoughts intent on 
the stable. 
D nder their powerful hoofs were clouds of dust stream- 
ing u pVtrard. 
Long stood the youth there yet, and watching the dust 
as it 1110unted, 
Watched it still as it fell, and stood devoid of reflection. 


DOROTHEA. 
As the traveller, ere the sun sank below the 
horizon, 
Fixed once more his eyes on the orb no,v fast disap- 
pearIng, 
Then in darkling copse and along the side of the 
mountain 
Sees its hovering forn1, and \vhere'er his glance he now 
turneth, 
There it speeds on, and shines, and \vavers in glorious 
colours; 
So before Hermann's eyes did the lovely form of the 
Illaiden 
Softly move on, and seemed in the path to the corn- 
field to follow. 
But from his dream of rapture he woke, and slowly 
proceerled 
Toward the village, and then was enraptured again, for 
agaIn caIne, 
l\leetillg hinl there in the way, the glorious Inaiden's 
tall figure. 
Closely he 111arked her, - it was no ghost, but her own 
very person, 
Bearing in either hand her larger jug by the handle, 
And a srnaller one, thus she \valked to the well, full of 
business, 
J oyfully went he up to meet her; the sight of her gave 
hiln 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


79 


Courage anù strength; and thus he spake to his WOll- 
dering dear one: 
"Do I then find thee here, brave 111aiden, so soon again 
busy, 
Helping others, and gladly still cOlnforting all that is 
hUlnan? , 
Say, why COlDest thou alone to the spring, which lies 
at such distance, 
While with the village \vater the others all are con- 
tented? 
This, I suppose, nlust be of particular virtue and 
flavour. 
Perhaps to that sick woman, so faithfully rescued, thou 
bearest it." 


Then the good maiden at once, with friendly greet- 
. ing, thus answered: 
"Surely n1Y cOllÜng thus here to the well is already 
rewarùed, 
Since I find the good youth who before \vith so much 
supplied us ; 
For, as the gifts themselves, the sight of the giver is 
pleasant. 
CODle now, and see for yourself who hath reaped ,the 
fruits of your kindness; 
And receive the calm thanks of all to whom you gave 
comfort. 
But, that you now may learn at once my object in 
COl1llng 
Here to draw, \vhere the spring flows pure and ever 


. , 
IncreasIng, 
This is the reason I give. Our thoughtless men in the 
village 
Everywhere have disturbed the ,vater, v.-ith horses and 
oxen, 
Trampling right through the spring which supplied the 
whole population. 



80 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


J list in the saIne \va$, too, have they soiled, with wash- 
ing aud cleaning, 
All the troughs in the village, and all the wells have 
corru pteù ; , 
:F'or to provide with all speed for hÜnself and the want 
next before bÜu, 
This aloue each luall studies, and thinks' not of what 
Inay come after." 


Thus she spake, and then at once to the broad steps 
descended 
'Vith her cOlnpanion, and there they sat thenl both Oll 
the low wall, 
Down to the spring. To dra \v the water she then llid 
lean over; 
And of the other jug he laid holù, anù leant over likewise; 
And their mirrored forms they saw in the bright blue 
of heaven, 
Hov'ring with nods to each other, and greeting, like 
friends, in t.he mirror. 
C( Let Ine drink," then said the youth in the joy of his 
feelinO'
 . 
o , 
And she held him the jug. Then both of thenl trust- 
ingly rested, 
Leaning over the vessels; and then her friend she thus 
questioned: 
" Say, how find I thee here, \vithout the carriage and 
horses, 
Far away fronl the spot 'where I saw thee at first? 
'Vhat has brought thee?" 


Thoughtfully Hermann looked on the ground, then 
raised up his glances 
Quickly tow'rds the girl, and \vith friendly gaze in her 
dark eve 
oj 
Felt hÍ1nself calm and assured. Yet to speak of love 
to her llOW was 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


81 


Put quite out of his power; her eye not love was now 
lookin a 
0' 
But clear sense, and demanded such sense in their 
whole conversation. 
Thus he was soon collected, and said with confidence 
to her : 
"Let me speak, my child, and give a reply to your 
question. 
It was for you I carne here; and ,vhy should I wish to 
conceal it ? 
For with both my parents, who love me, I live and am 
happy. 
Faithfully helping then1 manage their house and other 
posseSSIons, 
As their only son; and manifold are our employrnents. 
All the fields are my care, - the house Iny diligent 
father's, - 
And my active mother gives life to the whole of the 
business. 
But thou hast doubtless, like others, observed how 
sorely the servants, 
Whether through lack of thought, or of honesty, 
trouble the mistress, 
Ever cOlllpelled to change, and take one fault for 
another. 
'-Vherefore my mother long wished in her house to 
keep such a servant 
As not with hand alone, but also with heart would 
assist her, 
In the place of the daughter she lost long ago, to her 
sorrow. 
Now, when I saw thee to-day by the wagon so joy- 
ously active, 
Sa\v the strength of thine al'lll and thy linlb's perfection 
of soundness, 
When to thy words I 1istened, so full of good sense, it 
all struck me, 


. 



82 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And I hastened back home, to my parents and friends 
for that service 
To connnend the stranger. But now I an1 come to 
infonn thee 
Of their \vishes and mine. Forgive l11e my faltering 
language." 


. 


"Shrink not," then she said, "from speaking what 
yet should be spoken; 
N u offence do you give, but \vith grateful feelings I've 
listeneù. 
Speak it then plainly out; your words can never 
affright Ine. 
You ,voulù like to engage Ille as mai
 to your father 
and Blother, 
Over your well-furnished house entrusted \vith full 
su pervls10n ; 
And you believe that in me you would find a capable 
lTIaiden, 
Well adapted for work, and not of a rough dispo- 
sition. 
Briefly your offer was made, - as brief shall be, too, 
nlY answer; 
Yes, I \vill go with you, and follow where destiny 
leads Ine, 
Here IllY duty is done; the new-born infant's poor 
nlother 
I have restored to her OWll, and they all rejoice In 
their rescue, 
l\lost of thenl here already, the rest soon hoping to 
join theln. 
All of thenl think, indeed, in a fe\v short days they 
shan hasten 
Back to their home; for so is the exile ever self- 
flattered. 
But with hopes light as this I dare not cheat my own 
boson1 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


83 


In these sorro\vful days 'which still portend days of 
sorrow. 
For the bands of the world are loosened, and what 
shall rebind theIn, 
But the nlost urgent need, such as that which o'er us is 
hangÍng? 
If in the \vorthy man's house I can gain nlY bread as 
servant, 
Under the eye of his wife so industrious, gladly I'll 
do it ; 
Since the \vandering Iuaiden hath still a repute that is 
doubtful. 
Yes, I will go with you, so soon as the jugs of the 
strangers 
I have restored, and, further, have asked from those 
good frienrls a bles
ing. 
CODle, you Blust see thenl yourself, and straight frOin 
their hands receive rIle." 


Glad was the youth to hear the "Tilling maiden's 
decision, 
Doubting 'whether he no\v should not own the truth 
fully to her ; 
But it appeared to him best to leave her still to 
her fancy, 
And to conduct her hOllle, and there first woo her 
affection. 
Ah! and he nlarked the gold ring, which the maiden 
\vore on her finger, 
And he let her still speak on, while he paid to her 
words deep attention. 


"Let us now hasten back," she thus continued; "the 
maidens 
Always fall into blame who linger too long at the 
fountain. 
Yet by the running spring to chat is still so delicious! " 



84 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Thus they arose, and looked yet once Dlore, standing 
together, 
Into the "well; and s\veet was the longing that seized 
on their bosonls. 


Silently, then, the maid, taking hold of both jugs by 
, the handles, , 
l\Iounted again the steps, \vhile Hermann followed his 
loved one, 
'Vishing to take a jug, and hear his share of the burden. 
" X ay, let it be," she said, " all loads are lightest when 
even; 
.1\lld I must not be served by the master who soon will 
comlnand 11le. 
Look not so serious at rHe, as though IllY fortune were 
doubtful; 
'V Olnan should learn in tÜne to serve, - 'tis her nat- 
ural calling; 
:F'or through serving only attains she at length to com- 
rnanding, 
And to \vhat well-earned power she ,yields Ly right in 
the household. 
Gladly the sister serves her brother, the daughter her 
parents; 
Anù so her life is still a continual corning and going, 
Still a lifting and bearing, arranging and doing for 
others. 
vVell for her, if her habits be such that no path is too 
irksome; 
That the hours of the night are to her as the hours of 
the daytirne; 
That her work never seems too fine, or her needle too 
tiny; 
Rut that herself I:;he entirely forgets, and can live but 
in others. 
Then, as a nlother, in truth she needs one and all of 
the virtues, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


8S 


When in her sickness the babe awakes her, for nourish- 
11lent craving, 
Weak as she is, and care to her pains is abundantly 
added, 
T,venty rHen together ,vould not en
ure so nluch 
trou ble ; 
Nor are they bound; Lut they're bound, when they see 
it, to show theulselves thankful." 


Thus she spake, and no\v, with her thoughtful, silent 
conlpanlon, 
Passiug on through the gardens she came to the site of 
the barn-floor, 
Where the poor mother lay, \vhom she left so glad 
\vith her daughters, 
Those very girls she had saved, - the pictures of inno- 
cent beauty. 
Both of them then ,valked in, and soon, in the other 
direction, 
Leading a child in each hand, the honoured judge also 
entereù. 
These had been hitherto lost to the eyes of their Ror- 
rowing mother, 
But by the 'worthy elder had now in the crowd been 
discovered; 
And they eagerly sprang to kiss their dearly-loved 
mother, 
And to rejoice in their brother, their yet unknown 
little playmate. 
()n Dorothea next they sprang, and kissed her right 
friendly, 
Asking for bread and fruit, and for sonlething to drink, 
above all things. 
Then she handed the \vat
l' round, and of it the chil- 
dren 
Drank, and so did the Inother and daughters, and so 
did tbe elder. 



86 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


All were pleased with their draught, and praised the 
excellent \vater, 
'Vhich a slight lllÍneral taste for man lnade refreshing 
and wholesome. 


Then with serious looks the maid replied, and ad- 
dressed theIn, 
" This is perhaps the last tinie, my friends, that I ever 
shall carry 
Round to your nlouths the jug, and nloisten your lips. 
\vith its \yater, 
But \Vhell henceforth ye quaff a draught in the heat of 
the lnidday, 
,And in the shade enjoy your rest and the pure-gushing 
fountain, 
Oh, then' think too of me, and nlY friendly service 
an10ngst you, 
Which fronl feelings of love I rendered, even lnore 
than of kindred. 
Through the rest of lny life shall I own all the kind- 
neRS you sho\ved me. 
Truly I grieve to leave you; though now is each to his 
neigh bour 
!Iore a burùen than cOlnfort; and still in the land of 
the stranger 
!fnst we all look to die, if return to our honle be de- 
nieù us. 
See, here stands the youth to whonl we owe thanks 
for the presents,- 
Both for the baby's clothing here, and those viands so 
welcoIne. 
Hither he comes to beg that in his house he may see 
IDe, 
Acting as servant there to his rich and excellent 
parents: 
Ând I have Dot refused; for a maiden must serve In 
all cases" 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


87 


And to sit quiet at home and be waited on she 'would 
deen1 irksonle. 
Wherefore I follo"v him gladly; in sense the youth 
seenlS not deficient, 
Nor \vill his parents be, - as befits their \vealthy con- 
dition. 
Wherefore no\v, n1Y dear friend, farewell! and long 
may the baby 
Live to delight your heart, ,,,ho now in such health 
looks up to you. 
But \vhenever to your bosom he's pressed in these 
bright-coloured \vrappers, 
Oh, then think of the youth so kind, \\
ho \vith them 
su pplied us, 
And will henceforth to n1e, too, your kinsn1an, give 
food and clothing. 
And do you, excellent .sir" (she turned to the judge 
while thus speaking), , 
"Take my thanks for having so often been to me a 
father." 


And upon that she kneeled down to the new-born 
infant's good nlother, 
Kissed the ,veeping woman, and took the blessing she 
\v h ispered. 
MealHv hile to Hermann said the judge most worthy of 
honour: 
" 'Vell 11lay'st thou clainl, my friend, to be nUlllberecl 
'with sensible landlords, 
Who \vith capable persons are anxious to manage their 
household; 
For I have lnarked full oft, that sheep, and horses, and 
cattle, 
Are with the nicest care by touching and handling ex- 
amined ; 
"\Vhile that human aid, which, if able and good, saveth 
all things, 



88 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


But destroys and delllolishes all by its ,vrong inter- 
ference, 
That rnen take to their house by chance and accident 
only, 
And, when too late, repent of all over-hasty arrange- 
n) en t. 
But you seelU to know this; for you have chosen a 
n1aiden 
Who is good, in your house to serve yourself aud your 
parents. 
](eep her well, for ,,,,hile she a.n interest takes in your 
business 
You will not n1Íss the sister you lost, nor your parents 
thl'ir daughter." 


1\leanwhile lllany canle in, -- near relatives of thp good 
lnother, - 
Bringing nlany a gift, an(l ne,vs of nlore suitable lodg- 
Ing. 
All heard the luaiden's resolve, and gave their blessing 
to Hennann, 
With significant looks, and thoughts of peculiar lnean- 
lng, 
For the poor exiles there were \vhispering one to 
another: 
" If of the n1aster a bridegroolll corne, then, indeed, is 
she rescued." 
Then did Hernlann take hold of her hand, and said to 
her, (luickly, . 
"Let us begone; the day is declining, the town is far 
distant." 
Then, with liveliest talk, the WOlllen en1braced 
])orothea ; 
Hennann drew her away; yet with Illany a kiss was 
she greeted. 
But all the children still, ,vith screanlR and terrible 
weepIng, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


89 


Clung to her clothes, and \yould not their second 
mother relinquish. 
But the \VOlllen thus spake, first one, then another, 
cOlnnlanding : 
" Silence, children! she's going away to the town, and 
\vill bring you 
P]enty of good sugar-bread, which your little brother 
there ordered, 
When past the Laker's shop by the stork 1 he lately 
\vas carried. 
And you \vill soon see her Lack, with her paper-bags 
handson1ely gilded." 
Thus, then, the children released her; and Herluann 
though not \vithout trouble, 
Tore her a\vay from their arms, and their far-off beck- 
oning 'kerchiefs. 


HERMANN AND DOROTHEA. 
Thus the two went away toward the sun now de- 
clining, 
Who, stornl-threatening, in clouds his form had deeply 
enveloped, 
And from the veil, no\v here, now there, with fiery 
glances 
Shot forth over the land the gleams of the ominous 
lightning. 
"Oh! may this threatening weather," thus Hermann 
said, " not soon bring us 
Storllls of hail and furious rain! for fine is the 
harvest." 


1 The reader who has not lived in Germany may require to be 
informed that, according to the nursery belief in tbat country, all 
babies are carried to the house and carefully dropped down the 
chimney by the Btorks, instead of being brought in the doctor's 
pocket, as in England. 



9 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Anù they both rejoiced at the sight of the corn high 
a lid ,va ving, 
'Vhich ,yell-nigh reached up to the tall figures then 
passing through it. 


Then the nlaiden said to the friend who ,vas guiding 
her footsteps: 
"]{ind one, ,,,hOIU first I've to thank for a pleasant, 
portion-safe shelter, 
While 'neath the open sky the stonn threatens many 
exiles, 
Tell nle now, first of all, and teach nle to know both 
your parents, 
'Vhoru to serve in future with all my soul laIn 
anXIOUS. 
For, if one kno\vs his master, he better can give satis- 
faction, 
'\Vheu he thinks of the things which to him seem of 
greatest Ï1nportance, 
And upon \vhich his nlind he sets \vith n10st earnest 
attention. 
Wherefore tell me, I pray, how to win your father and 
nlother." 


Then replied thereto the good youth of clear under- 
standing: 
(( Oh, hüw right du I deenl thee, thou good and excel- 
lent rnaiden, 
Asking first, as thou hast, concerning the views of my 
paren ts ! 
}'or in lny father's service in vain till nOw have I 
stri ven, 
While to his business, as though 't\vere nlY own, nlY- 
self I devoted, 
Early and late to the field and the vineyard gIvIng 
attention. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


9 1 


But IllY mother I pleased well enough, for she knew 
how to prize it. 
Ay, and thee, too, no less \vill she think the most 
excellent maiden, 
If thou take care of the house as though 't\vere thine 
own to attend to. 
But with my father not so, for he loves appearances 
likewise. 
Do not take me, good girl, for a son that is cold and 
unfeeling, 
.If so soon I unveil lilY father to thee, quite a 
stranger. 
Nay, but I swear that this is the first tinle such an 
expressIon 
E'er hath escaped from my tongue, which is not given 
to prattling. 
But, since thou dost fro1J1 nlY boson1 elicit each proof 
of reliance, 
There are some graces in life for which nlY father is 
anXIOUS, - 
Outward rnarks of love, as well as respect, which he 
\vishes ; 
And he would be, perhaps, pleased with quite an 
inferior servant, 
Who could lllake use of this, and would angry be \",ith 
the better." 


Cheerfully then she said, as along the darkening 
path\vay 
N O\V with a quicker step and lighter movement she 
hurried, 
"Surely to both at once I hope to give ample con- 
tentment; 
Since thy mother's n1Ïnd accords with my own dispo- 
sition, 
And to external graces from youth I have ne'er been 
a stranger. 



9 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Those French neigh bours of ours, in former times, of 
politeness 
l\lade no little account; to the noblernan and to the 
burgher, 
Ay, and the peasant, 't\vas common, and each to his 
own did conlmend it. 
And just so amongst us, on the (j'ennan side, e'en the 
children 
Brought \vith kissings of hand and courtseyings every 
lllorrllng 
Wishes of joy to their parents, and all the day long 
\vould repeat them. 
All \vhich I then did learn, to which froIH lllY youth 
I'nl accustolned, 
And 'which comes from my heart, to nlY elder master 
I'll practise. 
But now who shall telllne to thee what should be IllY 
beha viour, - 
Thee, their only son, and to IDe in future a nlaster ? " 


Thus she spake, and just then they arrived at the 
foot of the pear-tree. 
Glorious shone the moon, at her full, down on then1 
frorD heaven; 
For it was night, and the sun's last gleanl \vas totally 
hidden. 
Thus \vere spread out before them in 111asses, the one 
by the other, 
Lights as bright as the day, and shades of the night 
that are darkest. 
And tha
 friendly (luestion \vas heard \yith pleasure 
by Hermann 
Under the nohle tree, in the spot so dear to his fancy, 
And which that selfsalllc day had witnessed his tear" 
for the exile. 
Thus while there beneath it they sat for a short tin1e 
to rest them, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


93 


Seizing the nlaiden's hand, the enanl0Ul'eÙ youth said 
in ans\ver: 
" Let thine o\vn heart tell thee, and follow it freely in 
all things." 
But no further word did he risk, though the hour so 
nluch favoured; 
For he feared that his haste might only bring a refusal. 
Ah! and he felt, too, the ring on her finger, - that 
token 8.0 painful. 
Thus, then, sat they still and in silence beside Olle 
another. 
But the Inaiden began, and said, "How sweet do 
I find it 
Watching the glorious light of the n100n! The day is 
scarce brighter. 
Yonder I clearly see in the town the houses and honle- 
steads, 
And in the gable or \vindow nlethinks the panes I can 
nunlber." 


"What th
u seest," then replied the youth, restrain- 
ing his feelings, 
", Is the place \vhere we d\vell, and do\vn to which I 
lead thee; 
And that \vindow there in the roof belongs to lny 
charD bel', 
Which will, perhaps, no\v be thine, for some change 
we shall lllake in the household. 
These are our fields, now ripe for the harvest begin- 
ning to-morrow. 
Here in the shade \vill we rest, and enjoy our llleal in 
the noontide; 
But let us 110\V go down, proceeding through vine- 
yard and garden; 
:For see yonder! the stornl is coming on heavily o'er us, 
Flashing lightning, and soon \vill extinguish the full 
moon so lovely." 



94 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


So they arose, and pursued their wayo'er the fields 
that lay under, 
Through the rnagnificent corn, in the night's clear 
splendour rejoicing, 
Till to the vineyard next they came, and entered its 
darkness. 


And down its many slabs he thus fain to conduct her, 
Which \vere laid there unhe\vn, as steps in the leaf- 
covered pathway. 
Slowly \valked she down, now resting her hands on his 
shoulders, 
While \vith. \vavering lustre the llloon through the 
leaves overlooked them, 
Till, in storul-clouds concealed, it left the couple in 
darkness. 
Carefully thus the strong youth the dependent 
HulÌden su pporteù ; 
But Hut knowing the path, and unused to the rough 
stones along it, . 
::\lissing her step, she twisted her foot, and well-nigh 
had fallen. 
Hastily then stretching out his arm, the youth, quick 
and clever, 
Held his beloved one up, 'when she gently sank on his 
shoulder, 
Bosom reclining on bosom, and cheek on cheek. Yet 
he stood there 
Stiff as a rnarble statue, his earnest wishes restraining; 
Still not pressing her closer, and still her dear weight 
su pporti ng. 
Thus, then, he felt that glorious burden - the warmth 
of her young heart, 
Anù the balm of her breath, on his lips exhaling its 
fragrance, 
And with the feeling of Inan bore wonlan's heroical 
greatness. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


95 


But she concealed her pain, and said In jocular 
language: 
"That betokens trouble, -so say all scrupulous 
people, - 
When, on entering a house, not far from the threshold 
a foot twist. 
Truly, 1 \vell could have \vished for Inyself a happier 
, Oluen. 
But let us \vait a short time, that thou be not blamed 
l)y thy parents , 
For the poor lirnping maid, and be thought an incom- 
petent landlord." 


PROSPECT. 
Muses, ye who the heart's true love so gladly have 
favoured, 
\Vho thus far on his way the excellent youth have 
conducted, 
And to his bosonl have pressed his 111aiden before the 
betrothal, 
Help still further to perfect the tie of the love-\vorthy 
couple, 
Parting at once the clouds \vhich over their happiness 
gather! 
But, before all, relate what within the house is now 
passIng. 


There for the third time already the inlpatient 
mother returning 
Entered the tuen's room, ,vhich first she had left with 
anxiet y, speaking 
Of the approaching stonn, and the n10on's quick veil- 
ing in darkness; 
r:'hen of her son's renutining abroad, and the dangers of 
night-tÌllle, 
'Vhile she ,veIl chided the friends, who, without a 
word to the Inaiden
 



9 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


\V ooing her in his behalf, from the youth so quickly 
had parted. 
"1\fake not the evil worse," replied the dispirited 
father, 
"For we ourselves, thou seest, tarry here, and abroad 
do not venture." 


But their neighbour began to speak as he sat there so 
tranquil, 
" Truly in hours of disquiet, like these, I always feel 
grateful 
To my departed father, who rooted up all my impa- 
tience, 
\Vhile I \vas yet a boy', and left llot a fibre remain- 
Ing; 
Ay, and not one of the sages so. quickly learnt to wait 
quiet." 
"Say," replied the vicar, "what Ineans the old man 
had recourse to ? " 
cc That ,vill I gladly tell you, since each for hinlself 
Inay \Ven mark it," 
,A,nswered then the neighbour. "I stood one Sunday 
impatient, 
When I was yet a boy, for the carriage eagerly 
waiting 
Which was to take us out to the ,yell 'neath the shade 
of the lilll e-trees. 
Still it carne not, antI I, like a weasel, ran back,val'd 
and for\varù, 
Stl'pping up and ÙO\Yll, and frolll \vindow' to door, 
without ceasing. 
Oh, how my hands dill tingle! and how I \vas scratch- 
ing the table, 
Tramping and stamping about, and ready to burst into 
crying! 
...\.ll was seen by the tranquil man; but at length, 'VlH-'ll 
I acted 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


97 


Quite too foolish a part, oy the anll he quietly took 
1He, 
Leading l11e up to the window., 'with \vords of dubious 
purport : 
'Seest thou, closed for the LIay, the carpenter's \vork- 
shop o'er yonder? 
It will be openeLI to-rHOrrO\V, and plane and SRW \vill 
1e busy; 
AnLI so will pass the inLIustrious hours fronl nlorlling 
till evening, 
But bethinks thee of this: the 1l101TO\V will one day ue 
cOInIng, 
When the Jnaster \vill stir hirn with all his \vorknlen 
about hÜll, 
l\laking a coffin for thee, to be quickly and deftly COHl- 
plete( 1 ; 
,A"nd over here all so busy that house of planks they 
will carry, 
'Vhich must at last receive the iInpatient alike anlt the 
patient, 
And a close-pressing roof very soon to bear IS ap- 
poillted.' 
All straight\vay in nlY Inind I sa\v thus really 
happen, 
Sa\v the planks joined together, the sabh
 colours pre- 
panng, 
And once nlore sit-ting patient, in (llÜet awaiteLI the 
carnage. 
Thus, \vhenever I now see others in doubtful expect- 
an ce, 
A\vk\vardly running about, I needs nlust think of the 
coffin." 


Smiling, the VIcar replied: "The picture of death, 
ever busy, 
Strikes not the \vise with fear, nor is viewed as an end 
by the pious; 



9 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Back into life it urges the one, for its dealings instructed, 
And for tbe other in SUITU\V it strengthens the hope of 
the future. 
Death beconles life to both. Anll so it was "Tong in 
your father 
Death to pre
ellt as death to the eye of sensitive 
hoyhoud. 
Nay, rather show youth the worth of old age ripe in 
hOllours, 
.Aud to the old luan sho\v youth; that so the ne'er- 
endin()' circle 
b 
Both rnay enjoy, and life. in life luay be fully accom- 
plished." 


But no\v the door was thrown open, anù showed the 
lllagnificent couple; 
And astonislunent seized the friends and affectionate 
paren ts 
At the fOrln of the bride, nearly equalling that of the 
bridegrooill. 
Yea, the door seenled too small to all(nv the tall figures 
to enter, 
Which, as they caIne on together, \vere no\v seen 
crossing the threshold. 
HerUHtlln with hurried words presente,l her then to 
his parents: 
"Here," he said, "is a lnaiden brought into your 
house, my dear father, 
Just as you \visbed; give her \velcon1e, for that she 
deserves. And, dear llinther, 
She hath already inquired the \vhole extent of our 
business ; 
So that you see how well hencefurth she deserves to 
be near you." 
Hastily then aside he dre\v the excellent vicar, 
Saying; "l\lost worthy sir, no\v help Uie in this my 
dilenin1a 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


99 


Quickly, and loosen the knots whose entanglement 
nlakes n) e quite shudder; 
For 1 have not yet dared as nlY bride to sue for the 
nlaidell, , 
But as a servant she weens she is come to the house' 
, 
and 1 tremble 
Lest she refuse to stay, as soon as \ve think about mar- 
rIage. 
But let it be quickly decided; no longer in error 
Shall she renlain; nor can I any longer endure to be 
doubtful. 
Haste, then, and show in this case the wisdom for 
which \ve revere thee." 
Then the pastor at once went away, and returned to 
the party. 
But already the soul of the maiden was grievously 
troll bled 
Through the father's address, \vho at once, with 
kindly intention, 
Words of sprightly purport in joking IDanner had 
spoken: 
" Xy, this is pleasant, IllY child! I anl glad to see that 
Iny son IS 
Blessed \vith good taste, like his sire, who (as those of 
his day kne\v) did always 
Lead the finest girl to the dance, and at length 
brought the finest 
Into his house as his \vife, -- and that was my Her- 
mann's deal' nlother. 
For by the bride a man chooses it needs not long to 
discover 
What a spirit he's of, and whether he feels his o\vn 
value. 
But you required, I suppose, but a short time to for III 
your conclusion, 
For, sure, it seenlS to llle that he's not such a hard one 
to follow." 



100 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Hennann but slightly caught these \vords, but his 
IÌlu hs to the lllarTO\V 
Quivered, and all at once the \vhole circle was hushed 
into silence. 


But the excellent 11laiden by words of Ruch cruel 
Inockin()' 
ð' 
(As they appeared), being hurt and deeply ,vounded 
in spirit, 
Stood there, her cheeks to her neck suffused with 
quick -spreading blushes. 
Yet her feelings she checked, and, her self-possession 
regaInIng, 
Though not entirely concealing her pain, thus spake 
to the old man : 
" Truly, for such a reception your son quite failed to 
prepare rne, 
Painting to Ine the ways of his father, that excellent 
burgher. 
And I anl standing, I know, before you, the 111 an of 
refinenlent, 
Who \vith judgrnent behaves to each one, as sl1its 
their positions; 
But for the poor girl, nlethinks, you have not sufficient 
compassIon, 
Who has no\v crossed your threshold, and comes pre- 
pared for your service; 
Else \vith such bitter nlocking you surely \vould not 
have shown me 
Ho\v far my lot froln your son, and frorn yourself is 
no\v severed. 
Poor, indeed, and with this sDlall bundle, I come to 
your dwelling, 
Which is furnished \vith all that rnarks a prosperous 
owner; 
Rut I \vell know myself, and thoroughly feel 111Y 
position. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


101 


Is it noble to Inake lTIe at once the butt of such mocking 
As, on the very threshold, \vell-nigh from your house 
drove nle back\vard ? " 


Much ,vas Hernlann alarmed, and nlade signs to his 
good friend the pastor, 
That he should interfere, and at 011 ce put an end to 
the error. 
Quickly the prudent Dlan stepped up, and saw in the 
maiden 
Silent chagrin, and pain subdued, and tears on her 
eyelids. 
Then his soul urged him on, not at once to end the 
confusion, 
But still further to test the afflicted heart of the 
l1laiden. 
And upon that he addressed her with words of search- 
ing intention: 
"Surely, thou foreign maiden, thou didst not ,visely 
consider, 
When with all haste thou resolvedst to be a servant 
to strangers, 
What is it to live ,vith a Juaster, subject to orders; 
For, but once strike the hand and thy whole year's 
doonl is decided, 
And the 'yes' but once spoken to much endurance 
will bind thee. 
Truly, wearisonle days are not the worst part of service, 
Nor the bitter s\veat of work everlastingly pressing;. 
Since the freelnan, if active, willlaþour as hard as the 
bond-slave. 
But to endure the whims of the nlaster who blames 
'without reason, 
Wanting now this, now that, ,vith himself still ever 
at discord ; . 
Ay, and the pettish mood of the mistress, who soon 
waxes angry, 



102 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Joined to the children's rough and insolent want of 
good luanners; 
This is hard to bear, and still be perfonning your duty 
U ndelayiug and prOlnpt, and \vithout any sullen 
objections. 
Truly, thou seeln'st not well-suited for this, since the 
jokes of the father 
W ouod thee so deeply at once; and Jret there is 
nothing more COlnUlon 
Than to tease a girl about finding a youth to her fancy." 


Thus he spake: but his cutting \vords were felt by 
the nlaiden, 
And she no longer refrained, but her feelings displayed 
therllselves strongly, 
Causing her bOSOlll to heave, while groanings burst 
their way fr.om it. 
And with hot gushing tears she at once addressed hirn 
in ans\ver: 
" Oh! the \vise n1an ne'er knows, \vhen he thinks in 
pain to advise us,. 
Ho\v little po\ver his cold words can have to release 
our pOOl' bOSOI11S 
FroIn the woes which the hand of imperious duonl 
lays upon thenl, 
Happy are ye, and glad; and ho\v should a joke thrn 
e'er wound you? 
TIut by the man who is sick e'en the gentle touch is 
felt painful. 
No, 'twould avail If!e nothing, e'en though 111Y disguise 
had succeeded. 
,Let, then, at once be seen, what later had deepelled 
IllY sorrow, 
And had brought me, perhaps, to n1isery silently- 
wasting. . 
Let me again begone! In the house no more nlay I 
tarry. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


10 3 


I will a\vay, and go to seek lllY pour people in exile, 
Whonl I forsook in their trou LIe, to choose for Iny 
own profit only. 
This is iny firrn resolve; and now I lnay dare to 
ackllOW ledge 
That \vhich else in IllY heart full many a year had 
lain hidden. 
Yes, the father's n10cking hath deeply wounùed me; 
not that 
I anl peevish and proud (\vhich would ill beconle a 
, poor servant), 
But that, in truth, I felt in Iny heart a strong inclination 
Tow'rds the youth \vho to-day had appeared as Iny 
saviour froln evil. 
For vvhen first on the road he had gone and left me, 
his image 
Lingered still in my Inind, and I thought of the 
fortunate maiden, 
Whonl, perhaps, as his briùe in his heart he already 
nlight cherish, 
And when I found hill} again at the well, the sight of 
hinl pleased Ine 
Not at all less than if I had seen an angel frollI heaven; 
Anù my consent \vas so glad, \vhen he asked me to 
come as a servant! 
Yet nlY heart, it is true, on the way (I \vill freely 
confess it), 
,Flattered me with the thought that I might perhaps 
earn his affection, 
If I should 
OIne day prove a stay the house could 
not dispense with. 
Oh t but no\v for the first tinle I see the risk 1 
encountered, 
When I would dwell so near to an object of silent 
devotion. 
N ow for the first time I feel how far a poor maiden is 
severed 



10 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


From the youth ,vho is rich, although she were never 
so prudent, 
All this now have I told, that you lllay not IÜY heart 
Iuisintel'pl'et 
Hurt as it was by a chance which has brought me 
Lack to Iny senses. 
For, ,,,hile Iny silent wishes were hid, I Blust needs 
ha ve ex pected 
That I shoulù next see hÜn Lring his Lriùe to her 
hOIlle here conducted, 
And how then had 1 borne Iny unseen burden of sorrow? 
Happily have I been warneù, and happily now froIll 
111 y boso III 
Has the secret escaped, while yet there were cures for 
the evil, 
But I have spoken enough. And now no Inore shall 
augh t keep me 
Here in the house where I stand in shame alone and 
in anguish, 
Freely confessing Iny love and the hope \vhich sprang 
from 111Y folly,- 
Not the night, far and wide in brooding clouds now 
enveloped, 
N or the roaring thunder (1 hear it) shall keep me 
from O'oinO" . 
h b' 
No, nor the gush of the rain, which abroad drives 
down \vith such fury, 
N or the 'whistling storm. All this ere now have I 
suffere(] 
In our. sorrowful flight, with the enemy closely pur- 
sUIng; 
And I will now go forth again, as I've long been 
accustomed, 
Caught by the whirlwind of time, to part from all I 
could cherish. 
Fare ye well! I can stay no longer, but all is now 
over." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


10 5 


Thus she spoke, and again to the door was quickly 
retu rning, 
Still keeping under her arn1 the little bundle brought 
,yith her. 
But with both her arms the lllother laid hold of the 
maiden, 
Clinging rounrl her \vaist, and cried in wondering 
an1azernent : 
" Say, what meanest thou by this, and these tears now 
shed to no purpose? 
K 0, I will not pern1Ït thee, - t bou art ll1Y son's o'wn 
betrothed one." , 
But the father stood there displeased 'with ,vhat ,vas 
before hinl, 
Eying the ,veeping wonlen, and spoke with the ,yards 
of yexation : 
" This, thell, befalls Ine at last, as the greatest test of 
forbearance, 
That at the close of the day \vhat is n10st unpleasant 
should happen! 
For I find nothing so hard to bear as the \veeping of 
WOlnen, 
,And the passionate screal11, that ,vith eager confusion 
COlllInences, - 
Rcelles \vhich a little good sense lnigbt soften down 
with nlore comfort. 
Irksorne is it to rne still to look on this \vondrous be- 


gllllHng; 
Ye Ulust conclude it yourselves, for I to lllY bed alll 
, " 
n O'\-Y gOlllg. 


And he quickly turned round, and hastened to go to 
the chanlber 
'Vhere his marriage bed stood, and where he "vas 
still wont to rest hiIn. 
But his son held hinl back, and said \vith words of 
en treaty: 



106 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


"Father, 111ake not such haste, nor be 'lngry because 
of the lllaiden 
I alone have to bear the blame for all this con- 
fusion, 
Which our friend, by dissembling, made unexpectedly 
greater. 
Speak, then, worthy sir, for to you is the Inatter 
confiùed. 
Heap not up trouble and grief, but rather bring all to 
good issue; 
For, in truth, I n1ight never in future so highly respect 
you, , 
If but pleasure in mischief you practised for glorious 
wisdom." 


Speaking then with a smile, the worthy vicar made 
answer: 
" Say, what cleverness, then, could have won so fair a 
confession 
FroIn the good nlaiden here, and her heart before us 
uncovered ? 
Has not thy sorrow at once been turned into bliss 
and rejoicing? 
Wherefore but speak for yourself: what need of a 
stranger's explaining?" 
Hermann now cOll1Ïng for\vard \vith joyful ,vords thus 
addressed her: 
"Do not repent of thy tears, nor of pains so fleeting 
as these are, 
For they hut bring lHY joy, and thine, too, 1 hope, to 
perfection. 
Not to hire as a servant the stranger, the excellent 
maiden, 
Came I up to the \veIl; - I canle thy tlear love to sue 
for. 
Oh, but out on my bashful glance! which thy heart's 
inclination 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


10 7 


\Vas not able to see, but saw in thine eye nought but 
friendship, 
When in the calm well's mirror thou gavest me there 
such kind greeting. 
Merely to Lring thee home the half of my happiness 
gave nle, 
 
And thou art now cOlnpleting it quite; n1Y blessing be 
on thee! ., 
Then did the maiden look at the youth with deepest 
en1otion, 
And refused not the embrace and kiss, - the cro\vn of 
reJoIcIng, 
When they at length afford to lovers the long-wished 
assurance 
Of their life's future joy, which now seems of endless 
duration. 


All mean while to the rest had been explained by the 
VIcar, 
But the 11laiden came \vith vows of hearty affec- 
tion 
Gracefully lnade to the father; and kissing his hand, 
though retracted, 
Said: "It is surely but right that you pardon a poor 
surprise
 nlaiden, 
First for her tears of pain, and now for her tears of 
rejoicing. " 
Oh! forgive me that feeling t forgive me this present 
one also; 
And let nle comprehend my happiness newly im- 
parted. 
Yes, let the first annoyance which in nlY confusion 
I caused you 
Be now at once the last! That service of faithful 
affection 
Which 'VAS your maid's hounden duty, your daughter 
shall equally render." 



108 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Hiding then his tears, the father quickly enlbraced 
her; 
And the nlother callie up with kisses fanliliar and 
hearty, 
Shaking her hand in her own, while the \veeping 
WOlllen were silent. 
Speedily then laid hold the good anù intelligent 
VI ca I' 
First, of the father's hand, and drew the wedding-ring 
off it 
(Not so easily, though; for the pluUll) round finger 
detained it), 
Then the nlother's ring he took, and affianced the 
children ; 
Saying: "Once more let the rings of gold discharge 
their glad office, 
Closely securing a tie \vhich exactly resembles the old 
one. 
Deeply this youth is pierced through and through with 
love of the 11laiden, 
And the nlaiden hath o\vned that the youth, too, hath 
called forth her wishes, 
Wherefore I here betroth JOU, and bless you for ever 
hereafter, 
With your parents' consent, and ,vith this true friend 
tv bear witness." 


And the neighbour at once bo\ved his head, ,vith 
wishes for Llessings. 
But when the reverend Ulan the golden ring \vas now 
placi ng 
On the 111aiden's finger, he saw with anlaZenJent the 
other, 
Which before, at the well, had been viewed \vith 
sorrow by Henllann: 
And he said thereupon with words of fl'iendl J ' jocose- 
ness 
 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


10 9 


" What! for the second time art thou now betrothed? 
l\1ay the first youth 
Not appear at the altar, with words forbidding the 
marriage ! " 


But she said In reply: "Oh, let rne to this dear 
memento 
Consecrate one short 1110ment; for well did the good 
man deserve it, 
'Vho, when departing, gave it, and never came back 
for the nuptials. 
All was foreseen Ly him at the tÏlne when his longing 
for freedonl, 
And his ùesire to act in the scenes of a novel 
existence, 
Urged hÜn quickly to Paris, where dungeon and death 
he encountered. 
'Live, and be happy,' said he, 'I go; for all that is 
earthly 
N ow is changing at once, anù all seenlS doomed to be 
severed. 
In the most settled states the prirllary laws are de.. 
P artin 0' . 
b' 
Property is departing froln even the oldest possessor; 
Friend is departing frolll friend, and love fronl love, in 
like mallner. 
I now leave thee here, an<l where I 111ay e'er again find 
thee, 
Who can tell? Perhaps this lnay be our last conver- 
sation. 
l\Ian, it is rightly said, on earth is only a stranger; 
More a stranger than ever has each one in these days 
been rendered. 
Even our soil is ours no longer; our treasures are 
wandering; 
Gold and silver are melted frOlll forUIS \vhich tinle had 
nlade sacred. 



110 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


All is moving, as though the world, long fornled, would 
dissolve back 
Into chaos and night, and be fonned anew for the 
future. 
Thou wilt for tHe keep thy heart; and if we meet again 
hereafter, 
Over the wreck of the world, we both shall then be 
new creatures, 
Quite transformed and free, and no longer dependent 
on fortune; 
For what fetters could bind the l1lan who survived such 
an epoch? 
But if it is not to be, that happily freed frorn these 
dangers 
\Ve should one day again with joy return to each other, 
Oh, then, keep ill thy thoughts my Ï1nage still hovering 
before thee, 
That thou with equal courage for joy and grief Inayest 
be ready, 
Should a new hOll1e appear, and new connections invite 
thee; 
Then enjoy thou with thanks whate'er by thy fate is 
provided: 
Love them well that love thee, and for kindness show 
thyself grateful; 
Yet, e'en then set thy foot but lightly, where all is so 
chan neful . 
o , 
For the redoubled pain of ne\v loss still near thee is 
lurking. 
Holy be that thy day ! Yet esteem not life of Dlore 
value 
Than aught else that is good: and all that is good is 
deceitful.' 
Th us he spake, and before me the noble one ne'er 
reappearèd. 
All lueantÏ1ne have I lost, and a thousand times thought 
of his warning; 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE I I I 
I 
Anù now I think of his words, when so splendidly love 
, , 
]S prepanng 
Joy for me here, and disclosing lllOSt glorious hopes for 
the future. 
Oh! forgive me, my excellent friend; if I tremble while 
leaning 
E'en on thine arm! So deems the sailor, at length 
safely landed, 
That the finnly set base of the solid ground is still 
rocking." 


Thus she spoke, and placed the rings, one close to 
the other. 
But the bridegroom said, with noble and nlanly 
emotion; 
,( All the firlner be, in this shaking of all things around 
us, 
Dorothea, this tie! Yes, we will continue still holding, 
Firn1ly holding ourselves and the good things we have 
. . 
In possessIon ; 
For in wavering times the man whose views also 
waver 
Does but increase the evil and spread it further and 
further; 
While he who firmly stands to his views moves the 
world to his \vishes. 
III becornes it the Gernlan the fear-inspiring commotion 
Still to prolong, and still to be staggering hither and 
thither. 
'This is ours f' so let us assert, and maintain our 
assertion I 
Men of resolute minds are still ever valued the highest, 
Who for God and the law, for parents, for ,vives and 
for children 
Battled, against the foe together standing till vanquished. 
Thou art nline, and now \vhat is rnine is more mine 
than ever. 



I I 2 POEMS OF GOETHE 
\ 
Not with vexation of heart \vill I keep, and 'with sor- 
row enjoy it, 
But with courage and n1Îght. Anù should our foes 
threaten at present, 
Or in future, equip nle thyself, and hand lI1e IllY 
weapons 
l\.:nowing that thou vvilt attend to my house, and affec.. 
tionate parents. 
Oh! I shall then 'gainst the foe stand ,vith breast of 
fearless assurance, 
And if but each UlaH thought as I think, then quickly 
would stand up 
l\fight against nlight, anù of peace we all should share 
the enjoyment." 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


113 


'VEST - EASTERN DIVAN. 


Who the song would understand, 
Needs must seek the song's own land. 
'Vho the minstrel understand, 
Needs llilLSt seek the minstrel's land. 


The poems comprised in this collection are written in the Per- 
sian style, and are greatly admired by Oriental scholars, for the 
truthfulness with which the Eastern spirit of poetry i
 reproùuced 
by the 'Vestern minstrel. They were chiefly composed between 
the years 1814 and 1819, and first given to the 'world ill the latter 
year. Of the twelve books into which they are divided, that of 

uleika will probably be considered the best, from the mallY 
graceful love-sollgs which it contains. The following is Heille's 
account of the" Divan," and may well serve as a substitute for 
anything I could say respecting it: 


 It contains opinions and sentiments on the East, expressed in 
a series of rich cantos and stanzas full of sweetness and spirit, 
and all this as ell chanting as a harem emitting the most delicious 
and rare perfumes, and blooming with exquisitely lovely nymphs 
\vith eyebrows painted black, eyes piercing as those of the ante- 
lope, arms white as alabaster, and of the most graceful and per- 
fectly formed shapes, while the heart of the reader beats and 
grows faint, as did that of the' happy Gaspard Debaran, the clown, 
who, when on the highest step of his ladder, was enabled to peep 
into the Seraglio of Constantinople - that recess concealerl from 
the inspection of man. Sometimes, also, the reader may imagine 
himself indolently stretched on a carpet of Persian softnpss, luxu- 
riously smoking the yellow tobacco of Turkistan through a long 
tube of jessamine and amber, while a black slave fan
 him with a 
fan of peacock's feathers, and a little boy presents him with a cnp 
of genuine :l\focha. Goethe has put these enchanting anrl volup- 
tuous customs into poetry. and his verses are so perfect, so 
harmonious, so tasteful, so soft, that it seems really surprising 
that he should ever have been able to have brought the German 
lallgua,
f-' to this state of suppleness. The charm of the book is 
inexplil'able; it is a votive nosegay spnt from the West to the 
East, composed of the most precious ann curiom
 plants: red 
roses, hortellsias like the breast of a sp()tle
s maiden, purple 
digitales like the long finger of a man, fantastically fornw(! raHlUl- 
culi, and ill the midst of all, silent and tastefully concealerl, a tuft 
of German violets. This nosegay signifies that the 'Vest is tired 
of thin and icy-cold spirituality, and seeks warmth in the strong 
and healthy bosom of the East.:' 
Translations are here given of upwards of sixty of the best 
poems embraced in the U Divan," the number in the original ex- 
ceeding two hundred. 



1 't 4 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


I. MORGANNI NAJ\1IEH. 


BOOK OF THE MINSTREL. 


TALISMANS. 


GOD is of the east possessed, 
God is ruler of the west; 
North and south alike, each land 
Rests within His gentle hand. 
HE, the only righteous one, 
Wills that right to each be done. 
'l\1011gst His hundred titles, then, 
Highest praised be this ! - Amen. 
ERROR seeketh to deceive me, 
Thou art able to retrieve me; 
Both in action and in song 
Keep my course from going \vrong. 


THE FOUR 
FA VOURS. 


THAT Arabs through the realnls of space 
l\Iay wander on, light-hearted, 
Great Allah hath, to all their race, 
Four favours meet inlparted. 
The turban first - that ornament 
All regal crowns excelling; 
A light and ever-shifting tent, 
Wherein to rnake our d welling 
 
A s,vord, which, more than rocks and walls 
Doth shield us, brightly glistening; 
A song that profits and enthrals, 
For \vhich the maids are listening. 



POEl\lS OF GOETHE 


115 


DISCORD. 


WHEN by the brook his strain 
Cu pid is fl u ting, 
And 011 the neighbouring plain 

lavors disputing, 
There turns the ear ere long, 
Loving and tender, 
Yet to the noise the song 
Soon Blust surrender. 
Loud then the flute-notes glad 
Sound 'n1Ïd war's thunder; 
If I gro\v raving nlad, 
Is it a ,vonder ? 
Flutes sing and trumpets bray, 
Waxing yet stronger; 
If, then, Iny senses stray, 
Wonder no longer. 


SO
G AND STRUCTURE. 


LET the Greek his plastic clay 
l\Iould in human fashion, 
While his own creation may 
Wake his glo,ving passion; 
But it is our joy to court 
Great Euphrates' torrent, 
Here and there at will to sport 
In the watery current. 
Quenched I thus nlY spirit's flame, 
Songs had soon resounded; 
Water drawn by bards whose fame 
Pure is, may be rounded. 1 
1 This Oriental belief in the power of the pure to I:oll up water 
into a cry::::;t.al ball is made the foundation of the interesting- 
"Pariah Legend" that will be found elsewhere amongst the 
., Ballads." 



116 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


II. HAFIS N AßtIEH, 


BOOK OF HAFIS. 


Spirit let us bridegroom call, 
And the 'Vord the bride; 
Known this wedding is to all 
\Vho have lIafil:) tried. 


TIlE UNLIl\1ITED. 


THA T thou canst never end, doth Inake thee great, 
And that thou ne'er beginnest, is thy fate. 
Thy song is changeful as yon starry frame, 
End and beginning eveflllore the saIne; 
And what the n1Îddle bringeth, but contains 
'Vhat was at first, and what at last reulains. 
Thou art of joy the true and Illinstrel-source, 
:Fronl thee pours wave on \Va ve with ceaseless force. 
A n10uth that's aye prepared to kiss, 
A breast whence flo\vs a loving song, \ 
A throat that finds no draught arniss, 
An open heart that knows no wrong. 


And \vhat though all the world should sink! 
Hafis, ,vith thee, alone \vith thee 
'ViII I COlI tend ! joy, 111Ïsery, 
The portion of us t\Vaill shall be ; 
Like thee to love, like thee to drink, - 
This be IllY pride, -- this, life to 1n8! 


N O\V, Song, with thine own fire be sung,- 
For thou art older, thou more young! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


TO HAFIS. 


HAFIS, straight to equal thee, 
One would strive in vain; 
Though a ship with Inajesty 
Cleaves the fuall1Ïllg luain, 
Feels its sails t:well haughtily 
As it on ward hie
, 
Crushed by ocean's stern decree, 
'Vl'eeked it straightway lies. 


Tow'rd thee son us 11 (fllt O'raceful free 
, 0' 0'0 , , 
l\IOllut with coolin a O'ush . 
ð 
 , 
Then their glow cousulneth 111e, 
As like fire they rush. 
Yet a thought \\-ith ecstasy 
IIath lllY courage Inoved; 
In the land of 111elody 
I have lived and loved. 


III. USCfII( N Aì\IEH. 


BOOK OF LOVE. 


THE TYPES. 


LIST, and in nlCl110ry bear 
These six fond loving pair. 
Love, when aroused, kept true 
Rustan and Roda wu 
 
Strangers approach frolll afar 
J ussuf and Suleika; 
Love, void of hope, is in 
Ferhad and Schirin. 


117 



118 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Born for each other are 
Medschun and Leila; 
Loving, though old and gray, 
Dschelnil sa \v Boteillah. 
Love's sweet caprice anon, 
Brown rnaid 1 and Solomon! 
If thou dost nlark thenl well, 
Stronger thy love will swell. 


ONE PAIR MORE. 


LOVE is, indeed, a glorious prize! 
What fairer guerdon meets our eyes? - 
Though neither wealth nor power are thine, 
.. A very hero thou dost shine. 
As of the prophet they will tell, 
Wamik and Asra's tale as well. - 
They'll tell not of them, - they'll but give 
Their names, which now are all that live. 
The deeds they did, the toils they proved, 
No mortal knows! But that they loved, 
This know we. Here's the story true 
Of Wamik and of Asra, too. 


LOVE'S torments sought a place of rest, 
Where all might drear and lonely be ; 
They found ere long my desert breast, 
And nestled in its vacancy. 


1 The Queen of Sheba. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


119 


IV. TEFKIR NA
IEH. 


BOOK OF CONTEMPLATION. 


FIVE THINGS. 


WHAT makes time short to me 1 
Activity! 
,\Yhat nlakes it long and spiritless? 
'Tis idleness! 
What brings us to debt? 
To delay and forget! 
What rnakes us succeed? 
Decision \vith speed! 
How to farne to ascend? 
Oneself to defend! 


FOR woman due allo,vance Inake! 
Formed of a crooked rib was she. - 
By Heaven she could not straightened be. 
Attempt to bend her, and she'll break; 
If left alone, 1110re crooked gro,vs madam; 
What well could be ,vorse, n1Y good friend Adam?- 
For woman due allowance make; 
'Twere grievous, if thy rib should break! 


FIRDUSI (speaks). 


o WORLD, with ,vhat baseness and guilt thou art rife! 
Thou uurturest, trainest, and killest the while. 
He only whom Allah cloth bless with his smile 
Is trained and is nurtured with riches and life. 



120 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


SULEII{A (speaks). 


THE nlirror tells me I anl fair! 
Thou sayest, to grow old lIlY fate will be. 
N ought in God's presence changeth e'er,- 
Love Hilll, for this one nlomellt, then, in me. 


V. RENDSCH NAMEH. 


BOOK OF GLOOM. 


IT is a fault oneself to praise, 
And yet 'tis done by each whose deeds are kind; 
And if there's no deceit in 'what he says, 
The good we still as good shall find. 


Let, then, ye fools, that wise Ulan taste 
Of joy, who fancies that he's ,vise; 
That he, a fool like you, nJay \vaste 
The insipid thanks the world supplies. 


VI. HII{MET NAMEH. 


IÞ 


BOOK OF PROVERBS. 


CALL on the present ùay and night for nought, 
Save what by yesterday was brought. 


THE sea is flowing ever, 
The land retains it never. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


12 I 


BE stirring, man, while yet the day is clear; 
The night when none can ,york fast ùra\veth near.! 


'\VHEN the heavy-laden sigh, 
Deelning help and hope gone by, 
Oft with healing power is heard, 
COlnfort-fraught, a kindly word. 


How vast is mine inheritance, ho\v glorious and sub- 
lÜne ! 
For tÏ1ne IHine own possession is, the land I till is tÏ111e ! 


EN\VERI saith, - ne'er lived a man Inore true; 
The deepest heart, the highest head, he knew, - 
" In every place anù time tho1;l'lt find availing 
Uprightness, judgment, kindliness unfailing." 


THOUGH the bards WhOU1 the Orient sun hath blessed 
Are greater than we who dwell in the west, 
Yet in hatred of those WhOlIl our equals we find, 
In this we're not in the least behind. 


WOULD we let our envy burst, 
Feed its hunger fully first! 
To keep our proper place, 
We'll show our Lristles more; 
With hawks Inen all things chase 
Except the Bavage boar. 


By those \vho theillseives more bravely have fought 
A hero's praise will be joyfully told. 
The worth of man can only be taught 
By those who have suffered both heat and cold. 


1 This fine couplet is given as the motto to an early edition of 
" Wilhelm Meister." 



122 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


" WHEREFOUE is truth so far frorTI our eyes, 
Buried as though in a distant land? " 
None at the proper nlornent are wise! 
Could they properly understand, 
Truth would appear in bel' own sweet guise, 
Beauteous, gentle, and close at hand. 


WHY th ese inquiries make, 
Where charity may flow? 
Cast in the flood thy cake,- 
Its eater, who will know? 


ONCE when I a spider had killed, 
Then methought: was't right or wrong? 
That we both to these tÏ1nes should. belong, 
This had God ill His goodness willed. 


MOTLEY this congregation is, for, lo! 
At the cOlnmunion kneel both friend and foe. 


IF the country I'lll to sho-w, 
Thou n1ust on the housetop go. 


A MAN with households t,vain 
Ne'er finds attention meet; 
A house wherein two won1en reign 
Is ne'er kept clean and neat. 


BLESS, thou dread Creator, 
Bless this humble fane; 
Man Inay build them greater, - 
More they'll not contain. 


LET this house's glory rise, 
Handed to far ages down, 
ADd the son his honour prize, 
As the father his renown. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


12 3 


O'ER the l\lediterranean sea 
Proudly hath the Orient sprung; 
Who loves Hafis and knows him, he 
Kno\vs \vhat Calderon hath sung. 


IF the ass that bore the Saviour 
Were to l\lecca driven, he 
Would not alter, but would be 
Still an ass in his behaviour. 


THE flood of passion storms with fruitless strife 
'Gainst the unvanquished solid land - 
It throws poetic pearls upon the strand, 
And thus is gained the prize of life. 


'VHEN so nlany lninstrels there are, 
How it pains me, alas, to knü\v it! 
Who from the earth driv'es poetry far 1 
Who but the poet! 


VII. TIl\1 UR N Al\iEH. 


BOOK OF TIMUR. 


THE "\tVINTER AND TIl\1:UR. 


So the winter now closed round them 
With resistless fury. Scattering 
Over all his breRth so icy, 
He inflamed each wind that bloweth 
To assail then1 angrily. 
, Over t hem he gave dominion 
To his frost-ensharpened tenlpests; 
Down to Timur's council went he, 



'[24 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And with threatening voice addressed him - 
" Softly, slo,vly, wretched being! 
Live, the tyrant of injustice; 
But shall hearts be scorched much longer 
By thy flanles, -- consume before thelll ? 
If anlongst the evil spirits 
Thou art gone, - good! I'm another. 
Thou a graybeard art - so I anI; 
Land and men we make to stiffen. 
Thou art 1\fars! And I Saturnus,- 
Both are evil- \vorking planets, 
'Vhen united, horror-fraught. 
Thou dost kill the soul, thou freezest 
E'en the atmosphere; still colder 
Is lny breath than thine ,vas ever. 
Thy wild annies vex the faithful 
'Vith a thousand varying torments! 
'Vell! God grant that I discover 
Even worse, before I perish ! 
,And, by God, I'll give thee none. 
Let God hear ,vhat now I tell thee! 
Yes, by God! froln Death's cold clutches 
:N ought, 0 graybeard, shall protect thee, 
Not the hearth's broad coal-fire's ardour, 

 ot December's brightest flanle." 


TO SULEIKA. 


}'ITTING perfulnes to prepare, 
And to raise thy rapture high, 
l\tlust a thousand rosebuds fair, 
First in fiery torments die. 
One small flask's contents to glean, 
Whose sweet fragrance aye Inay live, 
Slender as thy finger e'en, 
Must a world its treasures give; 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Yes, a world where life is moving 
Which, \vith in1pulse full and strong, 
Could forbode the Bulbul's loving, 
Sweet and spirit-stirring SOllg. 
Since they thus have s,velled our joy, 
Should such tornlents grieve us, then 1 
Does not TÌ1nur's rule destroy 
l\lyriad souls of living men? 


VIII. SULEII(A NA
IEH. 


BOOK OF SULEIKA. 


Once, methought, in the night hours cold, 
That I saw the moon in my sleep; 
But as soon as I wakened, behold 
Ll1aWares rose the sun from the deep. 


THAT Suleika's love was so strong 
For Jussuf, need cause no surprise; 
He \vas young, youth pleaseth the eyes, - 
He was fair, they say, beyond lueasure, 
Fair ,vas she, and so great ,vas their pleasure. 
But that thou, who awaitedst lue long, 
Youthful glances of fire dost throw me, 
Soon 'will bless n1e, thy love no,v dost show me, 
This shall lllY joyous numbers proclaim, 
Thee I for ever Suleika shall name. 


HA TEM. 


NOT occasion mak('.Ç the thief; 
She's the greatest of the whole; 
For Love's relics, to my grief, 
From my aching heart she stole. 


12 5 



126 


FOEMS OF GOETHE 


She hath given it to thee, - 
AU the joy my life had kno\vn, 
So that, in llJY poverty, 
Life I seek from thee alone. 


Yet cOlllpassion greets ll1e straight 
In the lustre of thine eye, 
And I bless DlY ne\v-born fate, 
As \vithin thine arD1S I lie. 


SULEIKA. 


THE sun appears! A glorious sight! 
The crescent-Bloon clings round hinl now. 
What could this \vondrous lJair unite? 
How to explain this riddle? How? 


HA TEM. 


May this our joy's foreboder prove! 
In it I view D1yself and thee; 
Thou callest me thy sun, D1Y love, - 
Come, Iny sweet lnoon, cling thou round me ! 


LOVE for love, and D10ments sweet, 
Lips returning kiss for kiss, 
Word for word, and eyes that meet; 
Breath for breath, and bliss for bliss. 
Thus at eve, HDd thus the UlOITOW ! 
Yet thou feelest, at DIY lay, 
Ever SOIne half-hidden sorrow; 
Could I Jussuf's graces borrow, 
All thy beauty I'd repay! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


HATEM. 


o SAY, 'neath what celestial sign 
The day doth lie, 
When ne'er again this heart of mine 
A, \vay 'v ill fly? 
And e'en though fled (what thought divine 1) 
'V oulù near l11e lie?- 
On the soft couch, on \yhose sweet shrine 
l\fy heart near hers will lie ! 


HA TEl\I. 


HOLD me, locks, securely caught 
In the circle of her face! 
Dear brown serpents, I have nought 
To repay this act of grace, 


Save a heart ,vhose love ne'er dies, 
Throbbing \vith aye-youthful glow; 
For a raging Etna lies 
Neath its veil of Inist and snow. 


Yonder nlountain's stately bro,v 
Thou, like n10rning bean1s, dost shame; 
Once again feels I-Iatem 1l0\V 
Spring's soft breath and sUlnnler's flame, 


One rnore bun1per' Fill the glass; 
This last cup I pledge to thee! - 
By mine ashes if 
he l 1ass , 
,t He COl1SU lued," she'll say, " for me. n 


"!27 



128 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE LO'VIXG ONE SPEAKS. 


AND \vherefore senùs not 
The horsenlan captain 
His heralds hither 
Each day, unfailing? 
Yet hath he horses, 
He writeth well. 


He \vriteth Talik, 
And Neski knows he 
To write with beauty 
On silken tablets. 
I'd deell1 hÜn present, 
Had I his words. 


The sick one 'will not, 
Win not recover 
From her s\veet sorrow; 
She \vhen she heareth 
That her true lover 
Grows well, falls sick. 


THE LOVING ONE AGAIN. 


WRITES he in N eski, 
Faithfully speaks he; 
Writes he in Talik, 
Joy to give seeks he; 
Writes he in either, 
Good! - for he loves! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THESE tufted branches fair 
Observe, nlY loved one, well! 
And see the fruits they bear 
In green and prickly shell. 


They've hung rolled up, till now, 
Unconsciously and still; 
A loosely-\vaving bough 
Doth rock them at its will. 


Yet, ripening from within, 
The kernel brown swells fast; 
It seeks the air to win, 
It seeks the sun at last. 


With joy it bursts its thrall, 
The shell must needs give way; 
'Tis thus my numbers fall 
Before thy feet, each day. 


SULEIKA. 


WHAT is by this stir revealed? 
Doth the East glad tidings bring? 
For my heart's deep wounds are healed 
By his mild and cooling wing. 


He the dust with sports doth meet, 
And in gentle cloudlets chase; 
To the vine-Ieaf's safe retreat 
Drives the insects' happy race, 


Cools these burning cheeks of nline, 
Checks the sun's fierce glo\v amain, 
Kisses, as he flies, the vine, 
Flaunting over hill and plain. 


12 9 



13 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And his ,vhispers soft convey 
ThousanJ greetings frorn Iny friend; 
Ere these hil1b o\vn night's dark sway, 
lCisses greet Ine without end. 


Thus canst thou still onward go, 
Serving friend and mourner, too! 
There, where lofty ranlparts glo,v, 
Soon the loved one shall I view. 


Ah, what Inakes the heart's truth know,- 
Love's sweet breath, - a new-born life,- 
Learn I from his nlouth alone, 
In his breath alone is rife ! 


THE SUBLIME TYPE. 


THE sun, whom Grecians Helios call, 
His heavenly path with priùe doth tread, 
And, to subdue the world's wide all 
Looks round, beneath him, high o'erhead. 


He sees the fairest goddess pine, 
Heaven's child, the daughter of the clouds, _ 
For her alone he seems to shine; 
In trelubling grief his form be shrouds. 


Careless for all the realms of bliss,- 
Her strealning tears nlore swiftly flow: 
For every pearl he gives a kiss, 
And changeth into joy her woe. 


She gazeth upward fixedly, 
And deeply feels his glance of might, 
While, stamped ,vith his own effigy 
Each pearl would range itself aright. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


13 1 


Thus \vreathed vvith bows, \vith hues thus graced, 
'\V ith gladness beams her face so fair 
'\Vhile he, to n1eet her, nlaketh haste, 
And yet, alas! can reach her ne'er. 


So, by the harsh decree of Fate, 
Thou rnovest froIll 111e, dearest one; 
And were I Helios, e'en, the Great, 
"\Vhat would avail his chariot throne? 


SULEIKA, 


ZEHPYR, for thy hunÜd wing, 
Oh, how nluch I envy thee! 
Thou to him canst tidings bring, 
How our parting saùdens rne! 


In my breast, a yearning still, 
As thy pinions wave, appears: 
Flowers and eyes, and \vood, and hill 
At thy breath are steeped in tears. 


Yet thy mild \ving gives relief, 
Soothes the aching eyelids) pain; 
Ah) I else had died for grief, 
Him ne'er hoped to see again. 


To IllY love, then, quick repair, 
'Vhisper softly to his heart; 
Yet, to give him pain, beware, 
N or my bOS0111'S pangs inlpart. 


Tell hinl, but in accents coy, 
That his love must be In y life; 
Both, ,vith feelings fraught \vith joy, 
In his presence lvill be rife 



13 2 


POE1
1S OF GOETHE 


THE REU:NION. 


CAN it be! of stars the star, 
Do I press thee to Iny heart? 
In the night of distance far, 
What deep gulf, \vhat hitter Slnart! 
Yes, 'tis thou, indeed at last, 
Of my joys the partner dear! 
Mindful, though, of sorro'\Vs past, 
I the present needs llHlSt fear. 
When the still unfashioned earth 
Lay on God's eternal breast, 
He ordained its hour of birth, 
With creative joy pOS
t\ssed. 
Then a heavy sigh an,:sc, 
When He spake the sentence: - " Be ! " 
And the All, ,vith nlighty throes, 
Burst into reality. 
And when thus was born the light, 
Darkness near it fearerl to stay, 
And the elements with n1Ïght 
Fled on every side a,vay ; 
Each on son1e far-distant trace, 
Each ,vith visions wild employed, 
NUlllb, in boundless realn1s of space, 
HarrI10ny and feeling-void. 
Dumb ,vas all, all still and dead, 
For the first tiIne, God alone! 
Then He formed the n10rning-red, 
Which soon made its kindness known: 
It unravelled froln the 'waste 
Bright and glo,viug harrI1ony, 
And once more ,vith love \vas graced 
What contended fonnerly. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


And \vith earnest, noble strife, 
Each its own peculiar sought; 
Back to full, unbounded life, 
Sight and feeling soon were brought. 
Wherefore, if 'tis done, explore 
Ho
o? why give the rnanner, name? 
Allah need create no more, 
We his world ourselves can frame. 


So, with morning pinions bright, 
To thy mouth ,vas I Ünpelled; 
Stamped with thousand seals by night, 
Star-clear is the bond fast held. 
Paragons on earth are \ve 
Both of grief and joy sublime, 
Anù a second sentence: - " Be ! " 
Parts us not a second time. 


SULEIKA. 
WITH \vhat inward joy, sweet lay, 
I thy meaning have descried! 
Lovingly thou seemest to say 
That I'm ever by his side; 


That he ever thinks of 111e, 
That he to the absent gives 
All his love's sweet ecstasy, 
While for him alone she lives. 


Yes, the mirror \vhich reveals 
Thee, my loved one, is my breast; 
This is the bosom, where thy seals 
Endless kisses have j nl pressed. 


133 



134 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


N unlbers sweet, unsullied truth, 
Chain me do,vn in synlpathy! 
Love's eillbodied radiant youth, 
In the garb of Poesy! 


IN thousand forms nlayst thou atten1pt surprise, 
Yet, all-belovèd one, straight know I thee; 
Thou Inayst ,viih n1agic veils thy face disguise, 
And yet, all-present one, straight kno,v I thee. 


Upon the cypress' purest, youthful bud, 
All-beauteous-growing one, straight know I thee; 
In the canal's unsullied, living flood, 
All-captivating one, ,veil kno,v I thee! 


'Vhen spreads the water-colun1n, rising proud, 
All-sportive one, how, gladly know I thee; 
When, e'en in fornling, is tranSfOl'llled the cloud, 
All-figure-changing one, there know I thee. 


Veiled in the meadow-carpet's flowery charms, 
All-cheq uered starry fair one, kno,v I thee; 
And if a plant extend its thousand arms, 
Oh, all-embracing one, there know I thee. 


When on the mount is kindled morn's sweet light, 
Straightway, all-gladdening one, salute I thee; 
The arch of heaven o'er head grovvs pure and bright,- 
All-heart-expanding one, then breathe I thee. 


That which my invvard, outward sense proclaims, 
Thou all-instructing one, I kno,v through thee; 
And if I utter Allah's hundred names, 
A nalne with each one echoes, Ineant for thee. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


IX. SAKI NAMEH. 


THE CONVIVIAL BOOK. 


CAN the ICoran fronl eternity be? 
'Tis 'worth not a thought! 
Can the Koran a creation, then, be? 
Of that I know nought! 
Yet, that the book 01 all Looks it must be, 
I believe as a M ussuhuan ought. 
That fronl eternity wine, though, must be, 
I ever have thought; 
That 't,vas ordained, ere the angels, to be, 
As a truth may be taught. 
Drinkers, ho'wever these luatters may be, 
Gaze 011 God's face, fearing nought. 
YE'VE often, for our drunkenness, 
Blamed us in every ,vay, 
And, in abuse of drunkenness, 
Enough can never say. 
Men, overcome by drunkenness, 
Are ,vont to lie till day; 
And yet I find my drunkenness 
All night-time nlake me stray; 
For, oh! 'tis Love's s\veet drunkenness 
That maketh me its prey, 
Which, night and day, and day and night, 
1\1y heart lllust needs obey,- 
A heart that in its drunkenness, 
Pours forth fulllnany a lay, 
So that no trifling drunkenness 
Can dare assert its s\vay. 
Love, song, and \vine's sweet drunkenness, 
By night-time and by day,- 
How god-like is the drunkenness 
That maketh me its prey! 


135 



13 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


X, J\IATJIAL NANIEH. 


BOOK OF PARABLES. 


FROM heaven there fell upon the foalning 'wave 
A tÏInid drop; the flood with anger roared,- 
But God, its modest boldness to re\yard, 
Strength to the drop anù firm endurance gave. 
Its fonll the lliussel captive took. 
And to its lasting glory and renO\Vll, 
The pearl no\v glistens in our llionarch's crown, 
With gentle gleanl anll loving look. 


BULBUL'S song, through night hours cold, 
Rose to Allah's throne on high; 
To re\val'd her lllelody, 
Giveth he a cage of gold. 
Such a cage are IÏln bs of nlen,- 
Though at first she feels confined, 
Yet ,vben all she brings to mind, 
Straight the spirit sings again. 


IN the ICoran with strange delight 
A peacock's feather nlet IllY sight: 
Thou'rt welcome in this holy place, 
The highest prize on earth's ,vide face! 
As in the stars of heaven, in thee, 
God's greatness in the slnall we see: 
For he whose gaze whole worlds hath blessed, 
His eye hath even here iUlpressed, 
And the light down in beauty dressed, 
So that e'en nlonarchs cannot hope 
In splendour with the bird to cope. 
Meekly enjoy thy happy lot, 
And so deserve that holy spot! 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


137 


ALL kinds of 111en, both slnall and great, 
A fine-spun web delight to create, 
And in the middle they take their place, 
And \vield their scissors \vith \\-ondrous grace. 
But if a beson1 should s,veep that \vay: 
" What a most shanleful thing," they say,- 
"They've crushed a Inighty palace to-day." 


IT IS GOOD. 


IN Paradise while moon bean1s played, 
Jehovah found, in slunlber deep, 
Adam fast sunk; He gently laid 
Eve near him, - she, too, fell asleep. 
There lay they no\v, on earth's fair shrine,' 
God's two most beauteous thoughts divine- 
When this He saw, He cried: 'Tis good! 
And scarce could ll10ve frOll1 where He stood. 


No wonder, that our joy's complete 
While eye and eye responsive Ineet, 
When this blest thought of rapture nloves us- 
That 'we're with Him who truly loves us, 
And if He cries: - Good, let it be! 
'Tis so for both, it seems to me. 
Thou'rt clasped within these arnlS of mine, 
Dearest of all God's thoughts divine! 



13 8 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


XI. PARSI NA
IEH. 


BOOK OF THE PARSEES. 


THE BEQUEST OF THE ANOIENT PERSIAN 
FAITH. 


BRETHREN, what bequest to you should come 
Fronl the lo\vly poor man, going hOlne, 
'VhOlll ye younger Olies \vith patience tended, 
Whose last days ye honoured and defended? 


When we oft have seen the n10narch ride, 
Gold upon hÜll, gold on every side, 
Jewels on hinl, on his courtiers all, 
Thickly strewed as hailstones when they fan, 


IIave ye e'er knO\Vll envy at the sight? 
And not felt your gaze becolne n10re IJl'ight, 
When the SHn 'was, on the \vings of ll1orning, 
Darnawend's nUlnbered peaks adorning, 


As he, bow-like, rose? How each eye d\velt 
On the glorious scene! I felt, I felt, 
Thousand tiInes, as life's days fleeted by, 
Borne \vith him, the cOllling one, on high. 


God upon His throne then to proclaim, 
IIill1, the life-fount's n}ighty Lord, to name, 
Worthily to prize that glorious sight, 
..A..nd to \vander on beneath Jlis light. 


When the fiery orb was all defined, 
There I stood, as though in darknes
, hlind, 
Beat ll1Y breast, IllY quickened members threw, 
On the earth, brow-foremost, at the view. 


. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


139 


Let this holy, great bequest reward. 
Brotherly good-\vill and kind regard: 
SOLEMN DUTY'S DAILY OBSERVATIOX.- 
More than this, it needs no revelation. 


If its gentle hands a ne\v-born one 
l\fove, then straightway turn it to\vard the sun,- 
Soul and body dip in bath of fire! 
Then each morning's favour 't\vill acquire. 


To the living one, commit the dead, 
O'er the beast let earth and dust be spread, 
And, so far as lnay extend your might, 
What ye deeIll Í111pure, conceal froIH sight. 


Till your plains to graceful purity, 
That the sun ,vith joy your labours see; 
When ye plant, your trees in ro",-s contrive, 
For he Inakes the regular to thrive. 


Even the floods that through the channel rush 
Must not fail in fulness or in gush; 
And as Sellllerud, froln mountain 'high, 
Rises pure, in pureness must it die. 


Not to ,veaken ,vater's gen tIe fall, 
Carefully cleanse out the channels all ; 
Salamander, snake, and rush, and reed,- 
All destroy, - each monster and each ,veed. 


If thus pure ye earth and water keep, 
Through the air the sun will gladly pe
pJ 
"\Vhere he, '\vorthily enshrined in space, 
"\V orketh life, to life gives holy grace. 


Ye, by toil on toil so sorely tried, 
Comfort take, the All is purified; 



14 0 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


And now man, as priest, may boldly ùare 
From the stone God's image to prepare. 


When the flame burns joyously and bright, 
Limbs are supple, radiant is the night; 
On the hearth when fire with ardour glows, 
Ripe the sap of plants and creatures grows. 


Dragging wood, with rapture be it done, 
'Tis the seed of 111any an earthly sun: 
Plucking Parnbeh, gladly Inay ye say:- 
This, as wick, the Holy ,vill convey. 


If ye meekly, in each burning lamp, 
See the nobler light's resplendent stanlp, 
Ne'er will Fate prevent you, void of feeling, 
At God's throne at lnor:oing-tide fronl kneeling. 


This is Being's mighty signet, then, 
God's pure glass to angels and to 111en; 
Each ,vorù lisped the Highest praise to sound, 
Ring in ring, united there is found. 


FroIn the shore of Senderud ascendeth, 
Up to Darnawend its pinions bendeth, 
As He da ,vns, ,vith joy to greet His light, 
You with endless blessings to requite. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


14 1 


XII. CHULD NAlVIEH. 


BOOK OF PARADISE. 


THE PRIVILEGED J\fAN. 



FTER THE BATTLE OF BEDR, BENEATH THE CANOPY OF HEAVEN. 


[This battle was fought in the second year of the Hegira (A. D. 
623), between the followers of l"lahomet, who numbered three 
hundred and thirteen, possessing two horses and seventy camels, 
and the "idolaters," or l\1eccans, who
e forces amounteù to nine 
hundred and fifty, including two hundred cavalry. The victory 
remained with Mahomet, who lost fourteen men, while seventy of. 
the enemy were slain. A great accession of strength ensued in 
consequence to the Prophet, who pretended that ruiracles were 
wrought in his behalf in the battle, (;0(1 having sent angels to fight 
on his side, and having also made his army to appear larger to 
the enemy than it really was. - See the Koran, chapter viii., and 
Abulfeda's H Life of :l\1ahomet."] 


MAHOMET (speaks). 


LET the foeman sorro,v o'er his dead, 
Ne'er ,vill they return again to light; 
O'er our brethren let no tear be shed, 
For they d,vell above yon spheres so bright. 


All the seven planets open throw 
All their metal doors with n1ighiy shock, 
And tbe forIns of those we loved below 
At the gates of Eden boldly knock. 


There they find, with bliss ne'er dreamed before, 
Glories that nlY flight first showed to eye, 
, When the wondrous steed my person bore 
In one second through the realms on high. 


Wisdoln's trees, in cyprus-order growing, 
High uphold the golden apples s\veet; 



14 2 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Trees of life, their spreading shadows thro'wing, 
Shade each blossorning plant, each flowery seat. 


N ow a balmy zephyr from the east 
Brings the heavenly lllaidens to thy view; 
'Vith the eye thou now dost taste the feast, 
Soon the sight pervades thee through and through, 


There they stand, to ask thee thy career; 
l\fighty plans? or dangerous bloody rout? 
Thou art a hero, kno\v they, - for thou art here, 
What a hero? - This they'll fathom out. 


By thy wounds soon clearly this is shown, 
Wounds that \vrite thy fame's undying story; 
'V ounds the true believer n1ark alone, 
When have perished joy and earthly glory. 


To chiosks and arbours thou art brought, 
Filled with checkered marble colun1ns bright; 
To the noble grape-juice, solace-fraught, 
They the guest with kindly sips invite. 


Youth! Thou'rt welcome more than ever was youth, 
All alike are radiant and serene; 
\Vhen thou takest one to thine heart with truth, 
Of the band she'll be the friend and queen. 


So prepare thee for this place of rest, 
Never can it no\v be chan,Qerl again; 
l\faids like these \viII ever Blake thee hlest, 
Wines like these \vill never harm thy brain. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


THE FAVOURED BEASTS. 


OF beasts there have been chosen four 
To come to Paradise, 
And there with saints for evermore 
They dwell in happy wise. 


Amongst them all the Ass stands first; 
He cornes with joyous stride, 
For to the Prophet-Oity erst 
Did Jesus on hinl ride. 


Half tÏInid next a Wolf doth creep, 
To whom l\Iahomet spake: - 
"Spoil not the poor man of his sheep, 
The rich nlan's thou rnayest take." 


And then the brave and faithful Hound, 
'Vho by his nlaster kept, 
And slept \vith him the slumbers sound 
The seven sleepers slept. 


Abuherrira's Cat, too, here, 
Purrs round hiR master blest, 
For holy Blust the beast appear 
The Prophet hath caressed. 


THE SEVEN SLEEPERS OF EPHESUS. 


SIX young men of Oæsar's household 
Fled before their master's anger; 
As a god he claÏIn ed their worship, 
Though a sorry god was he. 
For an insect, ever buzzi ng, 
Still annoyed him at the banquet, 


143 



144 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Still disturbed his rest and pleasure. 
All the chasing of his servants 
Oould not drive away the tvnnent. 
Ever round the head of Oæsar 
Did the angry creature hover, 
Threatening with its poisoned sting 
Still it fle,v, and svvifLly circling, 
l\Iade confusion at the table, 
Messenger of Baalze bu b, 
The infernal Lord of flies. 


" Ha ! " - so spake the youths together, 

, He a god that fears an insect! 
Oan a god be thus Inolested? 
Does a god, like ,vretched nlorta1s, 
Feast and revel at the IJanq net? 
Nay! tv HilI!, the one, the only, 
Who the sun and I1100n created, 
\Vho hath Blade the stars in glory, 
Shall we henceforth bend the knee! " 


So they spake, and left the palace, 
Left it in their trim apparel; 
By a shepherd led, they hastened 
To a cave ,vas in the ill ountain, 
And they all ,vent gliding in. 
Aud the shepherd's dog canle after, 
Though they strove tv drive hinl froIn them; 
Thrust hirnself toward his In aster, 
Licked their hands in dnn}b entreaty, 
That he might renlain their fellow; 
And lay down with them to sleep. 


But the wrath of Cæsar kindled, 
When he knew that they had left him; 
All his fOrll1er love departed, 
All his thought was vengeance only. 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Out in quest he sent his people, 
Traced them to the mountain hollow. 
Not to fire nor sword he doomed them; 
But he bade great stones be lifted 
To the entrance of the cavern; 
Sa w it fastened up with mortar; 
And so left theIll in their tomb. 


But the youths lay cahnly sleeping; 
And the angel, their protector, 
Spake before the throne of glory: 
" I have watched beside the sleepers, 
Made thenl turn in slunlber ever, 
That the danlps of yonder caveru, 
Should not cranlp their youthful liInbs; 
And the rocks around I've opened, 
That the sun at rising, setting, 
May give freshness to their cheeks. 
So they lie in rest and quiet, 
In the bliss of happy dreanls." 
So they lay; and still beside them, 
Lay the dog in peaceful slumber, 
Never whimpering in his sleep. 


. 


Years canle on and years departed; 
Till at last the young men ,"vakened; 
And the wall, so strongly fastened, 
Now had fallen into ruin, 
Crumbled by the touch of ages. 
Then Iamblichus, the youngest, 
And the goodliest of then1 all, 
Seeing that the shepherd trembled, 
Said, " I pray you now, my brothers, 
Let llle go to seek provision; 
I have gold, my life I'll venture, 
Tarry till I bring you bread." 


145 



14 6 


POEMS OF GOETHE 


Ephesus, that noble city, 
Then, for 11lany a year, had yielded 
To the faith of the Redeemer, 
Jesus. (Glory to his name I) 


And he ran unto the city; 
At the gate \vere many \varders, 
Ar111ed lllell on tower and turret, 
But he passed thell1 all unchallenged; 
To the nearest Laker's \vent he, 
And in haste delnanded bread. 


"Ha! young rogue," exclaimed the baker, 
" Surely thou hast fouud a treasure; 
That old piece of gold betrays thee! 
Give lIle, or I shall denounce thee, 
Half the treasure thou hast found." 


And IamLlichuR denied it. 
But the baker \vullld not listen; 
Brawling till the \vatch caIne for\vard, 
To the king they both \vere taken; 
And the llionarch, like the baker, 
But a higher right asserting, 
ClaÏIneù to share the treasure too. 


Rut at last the \vondrous 
tory, 
Which the young Dlan told the Inonarch, 
Proved itself by Jllflny tokens 
Lord was he of that san1e palace, 
\Vhither he \vas brought for judgnlent; 
For he f;ho\ved to them a pillar, 
In the \vhich a stone \vhen loosened 
Led unto a treasure chalnber, 
Heaped \vith gold and costly je\vels. 
Straight,vay came ÜI ha
te his kindred, 
All his clan canIe thronging round hÏ1n, 



POEMS OF GOETHE 


Eager to advance their clainl ; 
Each \vas nearer than the other. 


And lam blichus, the bloon1Ïng, 
Young in face, and fonn, and feature, 
Stood an ancestor al110ng thenl. 
All hewildered heard he legends 
Of his SOllS and of his grandsons, 
Fathers of the rnen before hinl. 
So alnazed he stood and listened, 
Patriarch in his early nlanhood; 
"\Vhile the cro\vd around hÜn gathered, 
Stal \vart 111en, and nÜghty captains, 
Hinl, the youngest, to acknowledge 
As the founùer of their race! 
And one Loken 'with another 
l\Iade 8ssurance (loubly certain; 
N one can doubt the wondrous story 
Of hÜnself and of his comrades. 


Shortly, to the cave returning, 
King and people all go with him, 
And they saw him enter in. 
But no lnore to king or people, 
Did the Chos,en reappear. 
For the Seven, who long had tarried- 
Nay, but they ,"vere eight in nUlnber, 
For the faithful dog ,"vas with them- 
Thenceforth fronl the world were sundered. 
The most blessed Angel Gabriel, 
By the 'will of God Almighty, 
Walling up the cave for ever, 
Led them unto Paradise. 


147 



Reynard the Fox 




Preface 


ALTHOUGH so much in the way of commentary and 
criticisnl has been written about this renowned apo- 
logue, yet is its origin still enveloped in an apparently 
iInpenetrable fog. l\1any investigators, noted for learn- 
ing and persevering research, have laboured to clear 
this away; yet, with every new effort, the only result 
seems to be a further recession of the date of its 
birth. The probability of reliable discovery has van- 
ished and nought seems left but to relegate it, as ODe 
painstaking inquirer has suggested, to prehistoric times. 
By some it is regarded as unquestionably a European 
production; others look upon the fundamental stories 
as the common property of various Aryan branches of 
the human family, and as having been brought from 
their Asiatic homes by Teutonic migrants. It has 
certainly been traced back to the tenth century, and 
Jacob Grinlm arrives at the conclusion that it ,"vas 
then known under three forms, with the independent 
episodes in each so related as to furnish un rnistaka ble 
hints of the ground work of their later bl
nding into 
one continuous narrative. 
As with the date, so with the place of its birth. 
We have no clear idea of where the narrative first sa,"v 
the light or of the form in which it was brought into 
being. The claims of France, Gernlany, anù the 
Netherlands have all been plausibly and forcibly ad- 
vanced, and it has been likewise maintained that Latin 
ought to be regarded as the medium through ,"v hich 
vü 



viii 


PREFACE 


\vill be fonnd the earliest account of the adventures of 
our falllons Reynard. It seenlS, indeed, to have been 
delllonstrated that the oldest extant version is in Latin, 
still the editor of that version has no apparent hesita- 
tion, after a very thorough investigation, in ascribing 
the origin of the poem to Flanders and in considpriug 
the material of the 'Flen1Ïsh copy to be derived f!'oru 
sonle earlier source. 
But, leaving these particnlars as of secondary inl- 
portance, except as an Ï1npetus to the pleasures of 
antiquarian research, ,"vhich are not to be despised, let 
us cast a glance at the substance of the fanlous beast- 
epic, as it has been aptly calleù, The Illotive of its 
inspiration is thought by SOllIe to have been satire. 
By these it is regarded as a satirical expof'ul'e of the 
foibles and vices of hun1anity, '\vith a yiew to their 
ÜnprOVelllent. There are others, ho\veyer, who con- 
sider the romance as nothing but the expression of a 
general interest in aniInal life anù habits, and as having 
no satirical basis or edueational purpose. \Vith our 
rneagre knowledge of the original it is hard to form a 
valid judgrnent upon this question. Nor is it a nwtter 
of n10lnent. \Yhatever the primal intent, it certainly 
contains, as '\ve l!aye it to-day, an abundance of satir- 
ical allusions to the general iInbecility of mankind, as 
,"veIl as to the vices antI iniquities prevalent in tÏ1nes 
past, and not yet altogether extinct, alTIOng officers anù 
dignitaries of the church and the state. 
The recital of these ad ventures, of ,"vhich Reynard 
is the hero, has ahvays been held in high esteenl 
illllong German scholars, but it ,"vas not until the genius 
of Goethe had g
thered theln into 11Ís delightfully 
,w-ritten hexameters that the allegory gained a genernl 
reception. N ow it is so highly appreciated among his 
fellow countrynlen that the story is to he found in 
ahnost every household of the land. It ",
ould be well 



PREFACE 


IX 


if the same thing could be said of the English speak- 
ing peoples of the world, for no one can read it without 
receiving thereby a benefit whose value will be iu 
direct ratio to the earnestness of the study bestowed 
upon it. Yet among these peoples it has neyer been 
\videly known. Hence this new dress. If I shall 
have succeeded in extending the area of its apprecia- 
tion, n1Y recoIn pense will be ample; if not, I shall 
rest conteuted with the pleasure and the profit that I 
ha ve myself derived fronl the attempt. 


J. S. c. 




Argumenta 


CANTO 1. 


THE PBntecostal days have come, 
And Leo now resol;es with some 
Of his good lords to hold a feast, 
At which the greatest and the least 
Shall be commanded to attend. 
The fox, however, keeps away; 
lIe knows what they of him will say, 
For he has badly iujured all ; 
So, loudly though they may him call, 
He will not e'en excuses send. 


He there is charged with all the crimes 
That have been known from olden times, 
And only one dares hinl defend. 
This does not much his matters mend, 
For all the cases are t.oo clear, 
The council then is summoned forth, 
'Vhich thinks that, be he sout,h or north, 
To be compelled to come he ought. 
The king declares he shall be brought, 
And sends to summon him the bear. 


CANTO II. 


FORTH Bruin goes upon his task, 
Assured if he but Reynard ask 
To go with him as bidrlen, back, 
He'll find him nothing loth or slack. 
But Reynard is of other mind; 
He pleasant greeting' gives the bear 
And asks what he with hÏIn can share; 
Then, finding honpy's to his taste, 
Xl 



xii 


ARGUMENTA 


He takes him to a place in haste 
'Vhere he a good supply shaH find. 


To get the honey Bruin sticks, 
Through one of Reynard's scurvy tricl{s, 
His head within a gaping tree; 
And if you read you'll surely see 
How the peasants, learning that, 
Find him in a sorry plight, 
And beat hinl till, in sheer affright, 
He makes escape and gets again 
Back to court in grief and pain; 
And in h is place is sent the cat. 


CANTO III. 


Now Tybert meets an omen bad, 
But still pursues his way, though sad. 
He finds the fox, his message gives; 
Then Reynard asks hiIn how he tlHi'
es 
And what he would prefer to eat. 
'Yhen n1Ïce he finds that he woulù like, 
He plays him, too, a dirty trick. 
'Vith eye knocked out ancl wOllndeò. sore 
The cat gets back to court once more, 
I
ike Bruin lalned in head and feet. 


The Badger now essays to do 
'Vhat hear alld cat have let fa}] through. 
A third tinw does the fox not dare 
To disregard, or he win fare 
Full badly at his monarch's hand. 
With Grimbart he at length sets out, 
Beset with Inauy an anxious doubt; 
lIe finally begins to pray, 
So Grimbart shrives him on the way 
And warus him evil to withstand. 


CANTO IV. 


EXCITE}IE
T'S high when it is known 
That Reynard now draws near the throne. 
No sooner there than he begins 
To shift on others all his sins 



ARGUMENTA 


And boast of service to the king. 
This, howe'er, doth not avail, 
For all the beasts do him assail 
And bring complaints, by anger moved. 
Their charges are considered proved, 
And he condmllned for thmn to swing. 


But now he talks of treasures vast, 
\Vhich he discovered in the past; 
And tells of crimes that then were rife, 
And plots to take the monarch's life 
And set up Bruin ill his place. 
These words the king do greatly rouse, 
And likewise nUlCh excite his spouse; 
So he is ordered to descend 
Aud tell thern all fronl end to end, 
'Vithout evasion, face to face. 


CA
TO Y'. 


REYNARD now the plot sets forth, 
And shows the treasure's princely worth; 
1\Ialigns his father, scorps thp hear, 
And nlakes the badger Ollt LtS clear 
A traitor as was ever f()
111d. 
lIe tells what he hip' 'df has done, 
For firmer friend the king has none, 
To frustrate all their base designs. 
Of how he's treated then he whines, 
As if in loyalty not sound. 


The king and queen his lies believe, 
And promise that he shall receive 
Forgiveness full for an mistakes 
That he has J11ade, or ever makes, 
If only now he change his life. 
He, too, before returning home, 
Permission gets to visit Rome, 
To get release from papal ban, 
'Vhich I
eo thinks a worthy plan, 
As also does the queen, his wife. 


xiii 



XIV 


ARGUMENTA 


CAKTO VI. 


Now Reynard to the wolves' dismay, 
From both their hides has cut away 
A slice, to make him sack and shoes, 
And then upon his journey goes; 
But first he by the priest is blest. 
A cavalcade of nobles go 
With him some steps, respect to show; 
But ram and hare induces he 
To travel on, his h0111e to see, 
And there before return to rest. 


Inside the house he takes the hare, 
And slaughters him as soon as there; 
Ilis head he puts within thp sack, 
'Vhich by the ranI he sendeth back, 
As if it bore a king's despatch. 
The head is fonnd, the raIn's condemned, 
And with thp captives matters mend; 
Once nlore to honour tlley are brought, 
And Reynard's life again is sought, 
"Yho deed so dastardly could hatch. 


CANTO VII. 


A FEAST of such display and size 
Is seldOln seen by mortal eyes 
As now is carried on because 
The wolves and bear, against just laws, 
Have been to punishment condemned. 
Before its dose, complaints anpw ' 
Against the fox are hrought to view; 
The rabbit and the crow lament 
That he on them his spite hath spent, 
And urge the king such things to, end. 


An expedition now is formed, 
And Reynard's fort is to be stormed; 
Each one dpsires that he be sent, 
For they his acts do all respnt, 
And would chastise him out of hand. 
The badger runs the fox to find. 



ARGUMENTA 


And tell him what they have in nlind; 
Then him induces back to go, 
As he will have IlLuch better show 
If there on his defence he stand. 


CANTO VIII. 


THE fox again that journey takes, 
A second tÏIlle cunfession makes, 
And as before hp tries to shift 
His sills to others' backs, and lift 
The burdeu thus frOlll off his own. 
The clergy now he takes ill hand, 
The king and cuurtiers of the laud: 
These all can du "hate'el' t.hey will, 
But should a poor man fall. theJ'II fill 
The air with shrieks and hunt him down. 


The ape now conieS upon the two, 
And tells the fox Lold front t.o show; 
To Rome he goes,-and there he will 
l\lake :;lander's tongue keep very still 
And Reynard's matters straighten out. 
Re knows them all at court of Rome, 
\Vith all their tactics is at home; 
His kínsluen are in numbers thère, 
'Vith them he'll manage this affair, 
And Reynard need not give it thought. 


CANTO IX. 


WITH Grimbart Reynard comes to court, 
Begins a discourse far from short; 
In which he labours hard to show 
That his accusers, as they kno'w, 
Dare nought against hinl bring point-blank. 
lIe challenges to mortal strife 
Each one of those who seek his life 
And equals are with him in birth; 
For thus is settled, o'er the earth, 
Disputes 'tween gentlenIen of rank. 


The king in fury seeks his room, 
And there he fincls the queen, with whom 


xv 



XVI 


ARGUMENTA 


Dame Rückenau, old Martin's wife, 
In converse is about this strife. 
She Reynard's cause begins to plead, 
Shows how in court his father shone, 
How Reynard, too, had often done 
1\lost worthy deeds where others failed. 
The king his anger then bewailed, 
Aud let the fox again proceed. 


CANTO X. 


THE fox describes those treasures vast 
1\lentionerl in SOBle cantos past: 
I nleant thPll1 aU for queen and king, 
And now the ranI has evprything, 
"rhich nought can e'er replace, purloined; 
Those things I sent hy ram and hare, 
And thus am caught within a Hnare, 
For Bpllyn has poor Lalllpen killed; 
A comrade's blood IH--"s foully spilled, 
'Vith WhOlll be was as envoy joined. 


, And I am charged with this hase crime; 
You think me guilty eyery tin1e 
SOIne wicked handicraft is done, 
Though I am ever on the run 

ly king to serve. whom I adore. 
IIis spef'ch is clever, well designed, 
The kiug'H induced to chaug n his Inind, 
Extends to Hpyuanlleave to go 
And sppk thosp tJ'easul't.
 high and low; 
But T
engrim fepls n
ry :;ore. 


(' AXTO XI. 


THE wolf in ferment sel'l\.s the king, 
The air 'with cau
tic words doth ring; 
The kiug hpars all IH--' lias to say, 
And then decitles that Reynard may 
His version of the matter give. 
The fox once morp, with tricks of speech, 
l\Iakes out himsp]f a I.mint, who'd teach 
An 1wasts how proper ]Ï\-es to lpad; 



ARGUMENTA 


Yet they through spite, he says, proceed 
To claim that he's Hot ti t to live. 


The furious wolf throws (lown hi
 glove, 
1"0 signify that he will prove, 
In combat, all his charges true. 
Poor Reynard now can nothing do 
But take the challellge np and fight. 
The she-ape comes and proffers aid 
And lteynard soon by her is made 
An ready for the cOIning Rtrife, 
In which is wagered life for life, 
To manifest where dwells the right, 


CA
Tü XII. 


THE fox and wolf within the ring 
Their duel fight before the king; 
And never have elsewhere before 
Sly Reynard's tricks availe(l hhu more, 
'Yith body shorn and la\Ted with oil 
Evades he all the wolf's attacks j 
And then with subtle twists and knacks 
He conqners fsellgrÏIn outright. 
Low cunning Letter serves than might, 
In folly's strife or reason's toil. 


The wolf frOIll off the field is borne, 
Defeated, wounded, and forlorn; 
His wifp amI friends about him grieve, 
And think that hp can hardly lin--'. 
But Reynard is exalted high; 
Success has hrought a change of front; 
The kiug and all who hinl were wont 
To vilify are now his friends. 
And th us it is this fable ends; 
Its Inoral you can now supply. 


XVll 



" . 



Reynard the Fox 


CANTO ONE. 


WHITSUN, that fairest of feasts, had arrived; the forest 
and field 
Rejoiced in new life; on hillock and knoll, in thicket 
and hedge, 
The newly inspirited birds were singing their jubilant 
song; 
The llleads were all sprouting with flowers, infilling 
with fragrance the dales, 
The heavens resplendently clear, and blushing the 
earth like a bride. 


King Leo assembles b s court; the vassals and lords 
of the realn1, 
Called hither, make ha \te with the greatest of pon1p. 
Alllong them arrive 
Great nUlllbers of arrogant peers from the length and 
the breadth of the lanù, 
Lord Grusly the cr2.ne, Sir Pica the jay, and all of the 
chiefs. 
Then makes up the monarch his mind, \vith all of his 
barons, at once 
In splendour and state to hold court, and bids to be 
thither convoked 


I 



2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Toget.her regardless of caste the little as well as the 
great. 
Of all not a soul should be n1Ïssed; but absent, how- 
ever, ,vas one, 
Sly Heynard, that rascal and knave, 'who, because of 
his InallY Inisdeeds, 
HÜnself kept a,vay frolll the court. As shuns the 
conscience depraved 
The light of the day, so avoided the fox this assembly 
of lords, 
For each of then1 had to conlplain that harm he had 
done to thenl all, 
And Grimbart the badger alone, the son of his brother, 
had spared. 
,V oU, Isengrim, opened the 'case, and with him in court 
there appeared 
His kinsmen, adherents, and friends; escorted and 
succoured by these, 
He stepped up in front of the king and began with the 
follo,ving speech: 
l\1:ost worshipful monarch and lord, give ear to Iny 
gnevances, pray; 
Thou art noble and great and renowned, and to each 
of us all dost accord 
Justice and mercy and grace; compassion then show 
for the wrOllUS 
ð 
That I, with such boundless reproach, have suffered 
from Reynard, the fox; 
And bear ,yen in Inind, above all, that times without 
llunlber he has, 
In lllalice) nlade sport of my wife, and my children 
most basely ill-used. 

 es, he has thenl with foulness defiled, ,vith pestilent, 
virulent filth, 
'Vhereby I have still three at home with harrowing 
blindness distressed. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


3 


These offences \vere all, it is true, discussed by us both 
lonO' aao 
ð ð' 
And a day, indeed, was ordained to settle the things 
in dispute; 
He plighted his word under oath, but soon his intention 
he chanued 
b , 
And then to his fortress he nimbly escaped. Too well 
is this known 
By those \vho are here in the court and now all about 
TIle I see. 
1Iy lurd, the vexation and grief the villain has caused 
Ine I could 
Not attempt to relate with hurrying ,vords in multi- 
plied weeks. 
Were all of the linen from Ghent, ,vhatever the quan- 
tity made, 
At once into parchment reduced, the story it would 
not contain, 
And I will be silent thereon, yet my wife's defanlation 
and shame 
Eats into my heart, and I would it avenge, let happen 
what may. 


Now \vben in this sorrowful mood Isengrim thus had 
declaimed, 
A puppy, nalned Nidget, stepped up, and, timidly speak- 
ing in French, 
Told the Inonarch how poor he'd become, so that 
nothing at all had been left 
For his use but a morsel of sausage laid up in a ,vinter 
retreat; 
And Reynard had robbed him of that. Then hurriedly 
sprang forth the cat, 
Mad Tybert, with fury, and said: Commander, dis- 
tinguished and high, 



4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


No one has cause to cOlllplain that the scoundrellnay 
do him a wrong 
',Any more than our sovereign himself. In this convo- 
cation I say 
There is none, be he aged or young, but dreads more 
intensely the ,scamp 
Than even yourself. There's nothing, however, to 
Nidget's larnent; 
A nUlllber of years have gone by since the acts that 
he Inentions occurred, 
And seeing the sausage was nrine, 'twas I who com- 
plaint should have made. 
I went to take part in a hunt, and, \vhile thus engaged, 
I ran throu O'h 
;:, 
A mill in the night; the miller's wife slept, and I 
quietly seized 
A sausage quite small; 1 will it confess. N O\V, pray, 
to the san1e 
Had N idget a shadow of right, then he owed it to 
labour of mine. 


And the panther began: \Vhat use are these \vorrly 
cOlnplaints? 
They little achieve; be content, the evil's as .clear :l
 
the day; 
A thief and a cutthroat he is, this at least I wi 11 
boldly assert; 
Indeed you, lny lords, are aware that he perpetr[lte
 
all the kno\vn crinles. 
Should all of the nobles, indeed, or you, our llW';;: 
\vorshipful king, 
Of goods and of honour be robbed, he would lnll
h 
could he get for hirnself, 
By chance, but a mursel thereby òf a capon \\' 
'ì1 
fattened and pluInp. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


5 


Let me bring to your know ledge what he so wickedly 
did yesterInorn 
To Lalupen, the hare; here he stands, the nlan who 
has never done wrong. 
Reynard assumed the devout, and would in all kinds 
of device 
Him shortly instruction impart, including a chaplain's 
pursuits; 
So facing each other they sat and their task with the 
Credo began. 
But abandon olù tricks and their use, was Reynard 
not able to do ; 
Within the safe conduct and peace bestowed and as- 
sured by our king 
He Lanlpen held fast in his fangs, and worried with 
11lalice and spite 
The goud ,honest man like a fiend. I wended nlY way 
through the street 
,.Anù heard the lo\v chant of the two, which, almost as 
soon as begun, 
Was brought to an end. I listened surprised but, 
when I drew near, 
Irecognised Reynard forthwith; he Lampen held fast 
by the throat, 
And surely had taken his life if I, by good luck, in 
my walk, 
Had not then arrived on the scene. Here now in 
your presence he stands; 
Just look at the wounds he. received, that innocent 
person whom none 
Would ever attelnpt to molest. And should our good 
111aster pennit, 
Or ever your lordships endure, that thun may the 
peace of the king, 
His warrant and license, be mocked and made of no 
worth by a thief, 



6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


I fear llle that yet will the king be forced \vith his 
offspring to hear 
A tardy reproach froln the folk, \" ho reverence justice 
and right. 


Isengrim said in reply: You say what is true, and, 
alas! 
The fox never will any good to us do, and I heartily 
\vish 
The fellow were dead long ago; that for peace-loving 
folk had been best, 
And if we hÍIn pardon again, then will he, Lefore very 
long, 
Some of us boldly entrap, 'who at present inlagine it 
least. 
Reynard's uephe\v, the badger, now spoke, and with 
courage and force 
In Reynard's behalf he held forth, depraved as the 
latter was known. 
The maxim, though old, he remarked, is true, my 
Lord Isengrin1, proved: 
There is little that's good in an enell1Y's words. Thus 
my uncle, in truth, 
Small cû-mfort will find in your speech; yet is that 
of but little account. 
Were he at the court to reply to your worlls, and 
enjoyed he with you 
The favour and grace of the king, then n1ight it you 
surely repent 
That you had so spoken in spite, and all this old 
tattle revived. 
The evil, however, that you to Reynard himself have 
produced 
You. are silent about, and yet to my lords in great 
.number 'tis known 



REYNARD THE FOX 


7 


How together a com pact you made, and each to the 
other engaged' 
As two equal colleagues to live. Here's something I 
ought to relate: 
Ho,v once in the winter himself he put to the greatest 
of risks 
Altogether for you. A 111an \vith a ,vagon full ladeJ 
with fish 
Was pacing the street; you scented him out and ,viL- 
ingly \vould 
Have feasted yourself on his goods; but alas, you no 
1110ney possesRed, 
So persuaded Iny uncle to help; and hinIself he with 
craftiness laid 
At once in the road as if dead. By heavens, that 
venture \vas bold! 
Yet notice ,vhat species of fish he got for the risk that 
he took. 
The carrier ca111e to the spot, 111Y uncle perceived in 
the road, 
And hastily drew out his s,vord to evict hinl forth- 
with, but he lay 
As if dead; he made not a n10tion or sign, and the 
,vagoner then 
Thnnv hÏ1n up on the top of his cart, glad of the skin 
in advance. 
Yes! that dared Iny uncle for Isengrinl's sake; the 
cartluan at once 
Continued his way, aud HeYllard threw sunle of the 
fish to the grounù ; 
Then Isengrinl came sneaking in frolll afar, and ate it 
all up. 
Reynard thought it not well any longer to riùe, f;O 
lifted hin1 self ' 
And sprang fronl the cart; and now he himself on the 
booty ,vould feed, 



8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


But gobbled had Isengrim all; indeed so completely 
had he 
HÜuself overgorged, he was ready to burst; the bones 
cleanly picked 
Were the only things he had left, which remnants he 
offered his friend. 
One more little trick I will tell, which also is nought 
but the truth: 
To Reynard it known had become, on a nail at a coun- 
trynlan's house 
Hung a well fattened swine, but yesterday killed; of 
this he infornled 
'Vith frankness the \volf; they \vent to the place, the 
profit and risk . 
To fairly divide; but the danger and toil bore Reynard 
alone. 
Right in at the windo\v he erept, and then with great 
labour he threw 
The booty for both below to the wolf; just no\v, by 
ill luck, 
Not far fronl the place were some dogs, who scellted 
him out in the house 
And stahvartly tugged at his skin. Sore wounded he 
nlade his escape, 
And Isengrim quickly Rought out, to him made conl- 
plaint of his woes, 
I)emanding his share of the meat. And Isengrim 
. thereupon said: 
For you a fine morsel I've saved; no\v earnestly set 
you to work 
And heartily gnaw at it ,veIl; ho\v much you will 
relish the fat. 
He brought the delicious piece forth; 'twas nought but 
the crook ilpon \vhich 
The butcher had hung up the hog. The savoury flesh 
and the fat 



REYNARD THE FOX 


9 


Had been gulped by the covetous ,volf, that base and 
iniquitous beast. 
N ow Reynard, from rage, was unable to speak; but 
the turn of his thoughts 
You can think for yourself. Great king, of a truth, in 
a hundred and 1110re 
Of 111atters like this has the wolf to my uncle be- 
ha ved like a knave. 
But not a ,vQrd more a bout that; were Reynard him- 
self sUlnmoned here, 
His case he woulù better defend. l\leanwhile, most 
beneficent king, 
Most noble of masters and lords, I here beg to notice 
that you ' 
And all of these lords ,vill have heard how stupidly 
IsengriIn's speech 
Hath ùalnaged the \vife of his choice, and tarnished 
her honour, which he 
With limb and with life should defend. N ow these 
are the facts of the case: 
Years seven aud more have arrived and gone by since 
my uncle besto\ved, 
Without any thought of reserve, his love and alle- 
gIance upon 
Dame GreedÜnund's beauty and charIns. This hap- 
pened one night at a dance 
Which Isengrim failed to attend; I say what I know 
, to be true. ' 

fost friendly and pleasantly oft has she his advances 
recei veda 
Now what is there 1110re to be said 1 She never has 
made any charge; 
Moreover she lives and is well, so why does he make 
such a fuss? 
He silence would keep were he ,vise; it brings to him 
onl)" disgrace.' 



10 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The badger then further remarked: Now comes this 
romance of the hare! 
Detestable, vacuous talk! Should not a good ma'Ster, 
forsooth, 
His pupil correct, if he be not attentive and evil with- 
stand ? 
If never \ve punished our boys, and put not a potent 
restraint 
On frivolous habits and bad, into what would develop 
our youth? 
Young Nidget next conles and complains, how a sau- 
sage, one winter, he lost 
Aback of the hedge; but this should he rather in 
silence endure, 

"'or certainly hear \ve it said that SOllIe one had stolen 
the thing. 
Goes lightly what lightly is got; and who can nlY 
uncle reproach 
For easing a thief- of his stolen effects? It surely is 
right 
That men of high station and Lirth, theulseh'es to 
rascals and thieves 
Should hateful and dangerous show. Why! had he 
hin1 thereu pon hanged, 
Excuse there had been; yet he set hi In at large to 
honour the king, 
}'or penance by death to inflict has no one the right 
but the king. 
The requital, however, is poor, on which can my uncle 
rely, 
How guileless so e'er he may be and deeds that are 
evil impede. 
As matter ,of fact, ever since the peace of the king 
was proclaimed, 
Conducts himself no one as he. He has altered COlll- 
pletely his life ; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


II 


Eats but one meal a day, like an anchoret lives, chas- 
tises himself, 
'Vears raiment of hair on .unsheltered skin, and has 
also for long 
Desisted entirely from flesh of all kinds, both domes- 
tic and ,vild. 
As yesterday I was informed by one ,yho bad stayed 
at his house, 
He has left l\lalepartus, his fort, and built a small hut 
for himself, 
In which as a herlnit to live. How lately so thin he's 
becon1e, 
So pallid from hunger and thirst and other like pen- 
ances sharp, 
That he in repentance endures, yourselves into that 
will inquire. 
Then ,vhat can it Inatter to hÜn if all who are here 
him accuse? 
Should he but arrive, his rights he'd uphold and them 
put to shame. 


'When Grimbart had dra,vn to a close, to the wonder of 
all there appeared 
Henning, the cock, \vith the 'whole of his brood. On a 
sorro,vful bier, 
Despoiled of her neck and her head, was a hen carried. 
slowly within; 
Poor Scraper it turned out to be, Inost prolific of egg- 
layiug hens; 
Alas, ho,v her blood trickled down! and Reynard had 
caused it to flow. 
This now Inust be brought to the ear of the king. 
When Henning, the brave, 
Presented hÜnself to the king with sad and lnost grief- 
stricken face, 



12 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Came with him still other two cocks, who also la- 
mented their loss. 
The one of them Kreyant was called, and no better 
cock could be found 
If Holland and 
"'rance were explored; the other who 
stood by his side, 
Was known by the ualne of Kantårt, a fellow straight- 
for\vard and stout. 
Each carried a candle alight, and it happened that 
brothers were both 
Of the massacred hen they brought in; and over th
 
Inu rder they cried 
For trouble and pain. Two younger cocks were sup- 
porting the bier, 
And the wailing they made as they came could 
plainly be heard afar off. 
At length Henning spake: That loss ,ve bewail which 
none can repan, 
Benevolent master alid king! Oh, pity the wrong \ve 
endure, 
My children as \vell as myself! Here look you on 
Reynard's foul deed. 
When winter had froln us gone by, and leaves and 
blossoms and flo'\vers 
Invited us all to be glad, I much in rny offspring re- 
joiced, 
That spent the delectable days so blithely and gaily 
with me. 
Ten juvenile sons with daughters fourteen, and all of 
them full 
Of relish and pleasure in life; my wife, that rnost ex- 
cellent hen, 
Together had brought them all up in a summer as 
happy as long: 
They all were robust and content with their lot, and 
provided themselves 



REYNARD THE FOX 


13 


Each day ,vith the food they required at a spot that 
'\vas t.hought to be safe. 
The courtyard belonged to rich monks, and its walls 
were a shelter to us 
,A..nd six Ünnlense dogs. These partners, so noble and 
brave, of our horne 
Were rnuch to nlY children attached and sharply 
'\vatched over their Ii ves ; 
But Reynard, that thief, it annoyed that we, in cen. 
tentrnent and peace, 
Such gay, happy days should enjoy, and meantime 
escape fron1 his wiles; 
By night he would sneak round the walls, and waiting 
'\vould lie at the gate; 
But the dogs found it out, so he took to his heels; yet 
boldly, at length, 
They managed to collar hinl once, and then they made 
holes in his fur; 
Yet out of their hands he escaped, and left us in peace 
for a'\vhile. 
N o'\v give me your ear; this lasted not long; he soon 
came agaIn 
As a monk, and brought me a writing and seal; 'twas 
one that I knew; 
Your signet I sa,v on the deed, in which I found 
clearly inscribed 
That you a firnl peace had proclaimed, as '\vell with 
the birds as the beasts. 
To nle the announcement he nlade that he a good 
monk had become, 
Had taken the solemnest vo,v atonement to make for 
his crirn es, 
Of which he acknowledged his guilt. From that time 
should no one from him 
Have anything further to fear. He had sacredly taken 
an oath 



14 


REYNARD THE FOX 


That meat never more would he taste. He directed 
nlY eyes to his co\vl 
And his scapular sho\ved. In addition to this, he a 
symbol displayed, 
vVhich the prior upon him had placed; and, in order 
111e 1110re to assure, 
Beneath sho'wed a garment of hair. Then taking de- 
parture he said: 
}"are\vell, in the na1ne of the Lord. I have still a 
great nUDl bel' of things 
To do before close of the day. The sexts I must reaù 
and the nones, 
With vespers appended thereto. He read as he 
\valked, and devised 
Numerous schenles that \vere base; to effect our de- 
struction he planned. 
With a heart full of gladness and joy I soon to nlY 
children made kno\vn 
Your letter's good Inessage of cheer. They all \vere 
entranced at the news! 
Since Reynard a monk had become, for us not a thing 
\vas there left 
Any further to care for or fear. I strutted together 
with theIn, 
On the outer111ost side of the walls, and we all in our 
freeùom rejoiced. 
But alas! nlatters \vent with us ill; in ambush he 
craftily hid, 
And thellee springing suddenly forth, he barred up our 
way to the gate; 
The fairest he seized of my sons, and dragged him 
away to devour; 
And now not a thing could we do; when once he had 
. tasted their flesh 
He ever was trying again, and neither the hunters nor 
hounds 



REYNARD THE FOX 


15 


Could make us secure from his snares, not either by 
day or by night. 
And thus nearly all of my children he took, till now 
from a score 
Their nUl'll bel' to five is reduced; of the rest he has 
carried off all. 
Oh, pity my ,vofnl distress! But a day has gone by 
since he slew 
This daughter of mine that is here, ,vhose body was 
sa ved by the dogs. 
Observe! Here she lies! That deed he has done; oh, 
take it to heart. 


Then answered the monarch and said: Grim bart, come 
nearer, and look! 
In this ,yay abstains our recluse, and thus he his peni- 
tence shows! 
From now should I live but a year, be sure that he 
shall it repent. 
But ",
hat is the use of our words? Thou heart-broken 
Henning, give heed; 
Thy daughter for nothing shall \vant, whatever it be, 
that belongs 
By custom or right to the dead. I ,viII see that her 
vigil be sung, 
That she with all honour be laid in the earth; when 
that has been done, 
\Ve council will take with these lords on the penalty 
due to the crime. 
Then issued the king a comn1and that service be held 
for the dead. 
Domino placebo the people assembled began, and th
y 
sang 
Each stanza COl'llposing it through. I also coulù 
further relate 



16 


REYNARD THE FOX 


By whom was the service intoned, by whom the 
responses as well, 
But that too much time would employ, and therefore 
I leave it alone. 
Her body was laid in a grave, over which was erected 
a fair 
Marble stone, polished up like a glass, and cut in the 
forDl of a square, 
Quite bulky and tall, and upon it, above, could plainly 
be read: 
Here Scraper, the daughter of Henning, doth lie, most 
faithful of hens, 
Laid numerous eggs in her llest, and prudently knew 
ho,v to scratch. 
Alas, here she lies! from her family torn by the mur- 
derous fox. 
All in the 'world shall be taught how wicked and vile 
he behaved, 
And bemoan the deceased. Thus ran the inscription 
engraven thereon. 


This having been done, the king had the wisest con- 
voked 
To counsel mth him and ad vise as to how should be 
punished the crime 
That now had so clearly been brought to the kno\vl- 
edge of him and his lords; 
At length their opinion they gave, that unto the Inis- 
chievous scamp 
An envoy at once be despatched, that, willy or nilly, 
he dare 
Not refuse to obey; that he at the court of the king 
shall appear 
On the day when the judges next time together assem- 
ble therein. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


17 


And chosen was Bruin, the bear, the summons to take; 
and the king 
Thus spake unto Bruin, the bear: As master I give you 
advice 
Your errand with zeal to perform; yet prudence and 
cautiun I charge, 
:For Reynard's n1alicious and Inean; devices and tricks 
of aJl kinds 
He surely will bring into play; will flatter and stuff 
you with lies, 
And all that is possible cheat. Twice 'will be think 
about that, 
Replied, ,vith assurance, the bear. Let nought you dis- 
turb, for if he 
l\lisjuclge by the breadth of a hair and venture lÜs 
scorn upon nle, 
Then by the eternal I s\vear, that his vengeance upon 
nle illay fall 
If I do not so pay it him back, that know where he is 
he will not. 



CANTO TWO. 


THUS ordered,. Sir Bruin pursued his way to the mOUll- 
tainous ridge, 
'\Vith haughty and confident heart, through a ,vilder- 
ness sterile and vast, 
Long anù sandy and broad; and, \vhen this at length 
he had passed, 
He canle very close to the hills ,vhere ,vouted was 
Reynard to hunt; 
Indeed, in the days that were gone, he pleasure had 
sought there hinlself. 
But the bear further ,vent, .l\Ialepartus to,vards, where 
Reynard had long 
Fine buildings in number possessed. Of all his strong 
castles and burgs, 
Of which to hitu nlallY Lelonged, he thought l\Iale- 
partus the best. 
In this Reynard Inade hjs abode whenever a danger 
he sniffed. 
When Bruin the castle attained, the gate of adn1Ïttance 
he found 
Fast bolted and locked, so before it he ,valked and 
reflected sOIne,vhat. 
He finally shouted and said: Are you, 111Y dear uncle, 
at home? 
Bruin, the bear, has arrived, judicially sent by the 
king. 
Our 11lonarch has taken an oath that now at the bar 
of his court 
Yourself you shall place upon trial, and I am your 
escort to be; 


18 



REYNARD THE FOX 


19 


That justice you shall not refuse to render to all and 
accept ; 
If not it will cost you your life, for if you shall tarry 
behind, 
'Yîth rack you are threatened and \vheel. I advise 
you to ch oose for the best, 
A.nd COllIe with 111e back to the court, it else will you 
evil betide. 


This speech, frorn beginning to end, Reynard did per- 
fectly hear; 
I u silence he listened and thought: How \vould it, I 
\vonder, result, 
If I the uIllnanner1y churl should pay for his arrogant 
words? 
Let us upon it reflect. To the depths of his dwelling 
he \ven t, 
Into its corners and nooks, for built \vas the castle 
\vith skill; 
Caverns and dungeons there were, and nlany dark cor- 
ridors too, 
Both narl'O\V and long, and doors of all kinds to be 
opened aud shut 
....\ '3 time and necessity calleù. When sought for he 
found that he "-aR, .. 
Because of SOllIe rascally deed, here found he the best 
of defence. 
Through sinlplicity too had he oft in these labyrinthian 
\va ys 
Poor anÜnals cheated and caught, acceptable prey to 
the thief. 
N O\\Y Reynard the \YordR had well heard, but yet did 
he cunningly fear 
That near to the messenger still nlÌght others in anl- 
bush be couched. 



20 


REYNARD THE FOX 


But \vhen he hiInself had assured that the bear had 
arrived all alone, 
He \vent slyly out and exclaimed: l\ly dearest of 
uncles, you are 
Very welcolne, I'Ill sure! Your pardon I beg! I 
vespers have read, 
And thus have I caused you to \vait: lHY thanks for 
this visit aceept, 
It surely 'will help HIe in court; at least so permit lIle 
to hope. 
You are welcoille, Iny uncle, 'whatever the hour; ho\v- 
ever, I think 
That censure n1ust rest upon hinl 'who you on this 
journey has sent, 
}"or long and fatiguing it is. Oh, heavens, how heated 
you are! 
You've Bot a dry hair in your head, your breathing 
anxiety shows. 
Had this nlighty lnonarch of ours no nlessenger other 
to send 
Than the noblest of men at his court, exalted by him 
above all? 
Yet thus it must be of great service to nle; and now 
I entreat 
Your help at the court of the king, \vhere I am so 
badly defanled. 
To-morrow I'd lllade up my mind, in spite of the risk 
that I run, 
Unbidden to go to the court, and such my intention 
ren1alns ; 
I'm not in condition, to-day, to try such a journey to 
tak e : 
I've eaten too freely, alas, of a dish that I relish not 
much, 
And one that agrees \vith me not; it causes my belly 
great pain. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


21 


Bruin responded to this: 'Vhat \vas it, n1Y uncle? 
The fox 
Replied in his turn; What good ,vould it do, if you 
I should tell ? 
With sorro\v prolong I my life, Lut still 1'm resigned 
to my fate. 
The poor cannoL ever be lords, and if at odd times can 
be found 
N a food that i
 better for us and for ours, then truly 
we 111ust 
Some conlhs of sweet honey devour, 'which always 
with ease can be haù; 
Yet eat it I only fro In need; and swollen at present 
I am. 
The stuff I reluctantly ate, ho\v then could it nourish- 
ment give? 
If without it I ever can do, it rests far enough from 
my tongue. 


Heigh-ho, responded the bear, what is it, my uncle, 
you say! 
Do you in reality scorn the nectar that so rnany crave? 
Good honey, I must you infonn, surpasses all dishes 
there are, 
At least to my taste; oh, help Ine to some! You 
shall it not rue! 
The favour I will you return. You are mocking, the 
other replied. 
Prot
sted the bear: I anI not; indeed I mean just 
what I say. 
If that is the case, then you I can serve, the red one 
replied. 
The husbandman, Rüsteviel, lives below at the foot 
of the hill, 
And plenty of honey has he. Inde
d, among all of 
your race 



22 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Saw you never collected so much. Then lusted the 
bear overmuch 
To eat of his favourite food. Oh, take lne, lny uncle, 
he cried, 
'Vithout losing time, to the place; your kindness I'll 
llever forget; 
Supply me \vith honey, I beg, even though not enough 
can be got. 
Come on, said the fox in reply, of honey no lack shall 
\ve find' 
, 
To-day, it is true, I anl bad on the feet, yet shall the 
regard, 
\Yhich long I have cherished for you, encourage lny 
\veariSollle steps; 
1.'u1' I know not a soul a nlong those \vho to IIle are 
connected by blood 
\Yhom I honour, IllY uncle, as you! So CODle, and 
you will, in return, 

\Ie serve at the court of the king, \vhen there I shall 
have to appear, 
That I to confusion may put the charges and strength 
of my foes. 
\Vith honey I'll fill you to-day, as n1uch as you ever 
could \vish. 
He was thinking, the searnp, of the blo\vs the peasants 
would give in their wrath. 
I
eynard in front hurried off and Bruin came blindly 
behind. 
If I but succeed, thought the fox, I yet shall conduct 
you to-day 
To a Inarket in which unto you bitter honey appor- 
tioned ,,
ill be. 
They canle up to Hüsteviel's yard, which greatly elated 
the bear; 
But in vain, as fools very often themselves with hopes 
lead astray. 


. ' 



REYNARD THE FOX 


23 


Eve had already set in, and Reynard quite well was 
a ware 
That Rüsteviel lay, as a rule, jURt no,v in his chaIn bel' 
in bed. 
He a carpenter was, a craftsman of skill, and down in 
his yard 
Was lying the trunk of an oak, in order to split ,vhich 
he bad 
T,vo good solid ,,,edges inserted therein, so far that 
on top 
Gaped open the tree near the width of an ell. Thi:) 
I:eynard observed 
..A,nd said to the bear: Dear uncle, inside of this tree 
""ill be found 
1\10re honey than you would suspect, no,v thrust in it 
quickly your snout 
As far as you possibly can. 1 merely ,vould risk the 
advice 
That in greed you take not too much; it might with 
you badly agree. 
1)0 you, said the bear, for a glutton DIe take? \Vhy 
no, not at all, 
But temperance always is good, whatever it be that 
you <10. 
Thus was outwitted the bear! his head he stuck into 
the crack, 
Yea, even right up to his ears, and furthernlore Loth 
his front paws. 
Then earnestly Heynard fell to, ",'ith lllauy strong pulls 
and good tugs, 
And both of the wedges tore out. N ow was the Lrown 
fellow caught, 
Held fast by his head and his feet, nor scolding nor 
coaxing availed. 
Bruin now had a-plenty to do, for all of his boldness 
and strength; 



24 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And thus kept the nephe\v with craft his uncle 
en caged in the tree. 
'\Vith howls no\v lamented the bear, and tore, with his 
hindernlost claws, 
So fiercely anù raised such a row that Rüstevie 1 sprang 
out of bed 
And wondered whatever was up; he took along with 
hinl his axe, 
So as weaponless not to be found, should any OIle try 
hÜn to harm. 


Bruin was no\V in a terrible fix; for the narrowIng 
crack 
Was pinching hinl hard; he struggled and pulled and 
roared with his pain; 
His efforts, however, were all of no use; he fully 
believed 
That never therefron1 should he come; so Reynard, 
too, joyfully thought. 
When he in the distance observed Rüsteviel con1Ïng, 
he cried: ' 
Bruin, ho\v do you feel 1 Be thrifty and eat not the 
honey all up ! 
Does it taste very good? Rüsteviel conles and will 
give you a treat; 
He brings you a sip for your lneal; I hope it \vill with 
you agree. 
Then Reynard pursued his ,yay back, lVIalepartus, his 
fortress to gain; 
But l
üsteviel canle in his stead and, \Vhell he put eyes 
on the bear, 
He ran all the peasants to call, who in company still 
at the inn 
Were over their cups. Conle on, he cried out, in my 
yard there is caught 



REYNARD THE FOX 


25 


A bear in a trap; that really is so. They followed in 
haste, 
Each arn1Ìng hi Inself with despatch as well as the 
time \\-ould allow. 
The first touk a fork in his hand, another brought with 
hinl his rake, 
.Lind likewise a third and a fourth, provided with 
hatchet and spear, 
Came bounding "Tith vigorous strides; a fifth was 
equipped with a pole. 
The sexton and. even the priest canle on \vith the tools 
of their trade. 
And also the clergynlan's cook (of whom was Dame 
Y ulock the nanIe, 
And who as nune other a porridge could serve) re- 
Inained not behind, 
But ran \vith her distaff in hand, at which an the day 
she had sat, 
To curry the skin of the luckless bear. .Bruin heard, 
as they ca me, 
The increasing and deafening din with all its most 
horrible n utes, 
And forcibly tore out his head from the cleft; but yet 
there reIuained 
The hair and skin of his face, as far as his ears, in the 
tree. 
Indeed, not a wretcheder beast has anyone seen, for the 
blood 
Trickled over his ears. But what did he gain by 
releasing his head? 
For stil1 were his paws firmly held in the tree; now 
Lacking he tore 
Them hastily out \vith a jerk; he raved as if out of 
his mind, 
His claws and the skin froin his feet being left in the 
narrowing crack. 



26 


REYNARD THE FOX 


No taste of sweet honey had this; alas, it was not such 
as that 
'Yhich Reynard him led to expect. The outing was 
wickedly plan ned, 
A sorro\vful trip to the bear it had proved; his beard 
and his paws 
Were covered all over with blood; he \vas wholly 
unable to stand, · 
Unable to walk or to cra\vl. No\v Rüsteviel hastened 
to strike; 
He was fallen upon by them all \vho had with the 
master arrived; 
Their aim was to þut hinl to death. The priest for 
preparedness brought 
A staff of sonle length in his hand, and waled hinl 
therewith froITl afar. 
N ow hither and thither in sadness he turned, hemll1ed 
in by the crowd; 
Some here bearing pikes, others \vith axes out there, 
while the slnith 
Brought hanuner and tongs to the fray, and others \vith 
shovels arrived, 
Sonle also váth spades, and shouting they pumn1elled 
at random and struck, 
Till he, out of harrowing fear, wallowed in foulness his 
own. 
In the onset they all took a hand; not one of them all 
stayed a\vay. 
And Hulyn, the bow-legged clown, with Ludolph, the 
flat-nozzled rogue, 
By far \vere the worst; and Gerold aloft swung the 
hard wooden flail 
His long crooked fingers between; his brother-in-law 
at his side, 
The burly old Korkoran, stood; these two struck him 
worst of them all. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


27 


Dames Yulock and Abelquack too had also their part 
in the strife, 
The latter, the worse of the two, struck the poor thing 
with her tub. 
And those above named were not all; the women as 
well as the Illen 
All rall to the spot, determined to have the life of the 
bear. 
Old ICorkoran made the most noise, regarding himself 
as the chief; 
For Poggy of Chafport ,vas known his mother to be 
very well, 
And that by the sinister lJar, but his father 'vas never 
revealed ; 
The peasants, ho\vever, believed that Sander was 
probably he, 
The ùark-featured gleaner of straw, a fellow robust and 
superb 
\Vhen he by hÎlnself ,vas alone. Stones also came fly- 
in IT with force 
b , 
And hal'rassed the desperate bear, as they froin all sides 
\vere received. 
N O\V Rüsteviel's brother jUlnped up and struck, \vith a 
lOll a sturùy club 
b .J , 
The bear on the top of his head, so hard that both 
hearing and sight 
'Vere wholly destroyed; yet started he up froill the 
vigorous stroke 
And, enraged, at the \VOnlen he rushed, who into con- 
fusion \vere thl'o\vll, 

\nd tottered and tUlnbled and yelled, and into the 
\vater sonle fell; 
And the water \vas deep. Then out cried the father 
an! 1 said: Look out! 
Do\, 11 there is Dalue Y ulock, Iny cook, floating below 
in her furs; 



28 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Her distaff is here on the bank; COIne help her, you 
Inen! I will give 
Two barrels of beer as reward, with anlple indulgence 
and grace. 
The bear they all left lying there as if dead, and 
hurried a\vay 
To the vvater the 'vomen to save, and drew out the 
fi ve to the land. 
The bear ,vaddled slowly awray while the n1ell were 
enaaaed at the shore 
b b , 
And into the water he crawled in arrant distress, and 
he roared 
Tn horrible anguish and pain; he rather would much 
have been drowned, 
Than blo\vs so disgraceful endure. To swim he had 
never essayed, 
And llOvV ill his nlÌsery hoped that his life he n1Ïgbt 
enù on the spot. 
Against expectation he found that he swam, and was 
luckily borne 
By the water a distance belo\v. Then him all the 
peasants observed, 
And exclain1ed: To us this will certainly prove an 
eternal disgrace! 
They all out of hunlour becanle, and began at the 
wonten to scold: 
'Twere better had they stayed at honle; just look 
no,v and see ho\v he s\vims 
Down there on his \vay. Then close they approached 
to exaInine the log, 
And in it renlaining they found the skin and the hair 
frOlll his head, 
And also his feet" and chuckled thereover and cried: 
You ,vill come 
To us surely again; meanwhile \ve accept your ears as 
a pledge. - 



REYNARD THE FOX 


29 


And thus to his injuries added they jeers, yet happy 
,vas he 
The evil like this to escape. The peasants he roundly 
reviled, 
'Yho hÜn had chastised, lamented the pain in his ears 
and his feet, 
And I{eYllarù denounced, who him had betrayed. 
'\Vith prayers like these 
He s,vaUl further off, urged on by the streanl, which 
was rapid and large, 
'Vithin but a short space of tiIue, belo,v very nearly a 
nÜle, 
And then on the very same bank, all breathless he 
,vaded ashore. 
No beast in a bitterer plight till then had the sun ever 
seen. 
The l1lorning he thought that he never should see; he 
fully belieyed 
He nlust instantly die, and cried: Oh, Reynard, you 
villainous 'wretch! 
You dissolute scamp! lIe ,vas thinking besides of the 
pnnnllelling boors; 
And also he thought of the tree, and Reynard's decep- 
tion he cursed. 


Reynard, ho'wever, the fox, when he, with precaution 
so good, 
His uncle to market had led, 'with honey him there to 
supply, 
Went after sonle fowls, \vhose d ,veIling he knew, and 
pounced upon one, 
Then rapidly ran to the streaUl, dragging his booty 
alona . 
ö' 
There he despatched it at once and hastened to other 
aff airs, 



3 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The river still keeping close by; he drank of the 
water and thought: 
Ho\v happy and joyous I feel, at having the dull. 
witted bear 
Thus led to the carpenter's yard! I'll ,yager that 
Rüsteviel let 
Him have a good taste of his axe., AI,vays the bear 
has displa yed 
l\íalevolent feelings to TIle; and now I bave paid it 
hinl back. 
::\ly uncle I've always him dubbed, and now in the 
cleft of a tree 
He lifeless reluains; and for that I'll rejoice so long as 
I live. 
No more will he render his danlaging plaints! Aud, 
roanling along, 
He looked at the river below, and sa \v the bear rolling 
about; 
To the core of his heart he was vexed that Bruin had 
living escaped. 
He Rüsteviel cried, You indolent \vight, you blunder- 
ing fool, 
Fat meat such as this you disdain, so tender and good 
to the taste, 
Which any sane Ulan n1Ïght desire, and ,vhich, 'with 
such infinite ease, 
Fell unawares into YOllr hands! But still, for your 
welcolne so kind 
Has the innocent Lear left behind him a pledge. Thus 
were his thoughts 
As he upon Bruin set eyes, downcast, bloody" and 
fain t. 
He finally called to the bear: Do I find you, SIr 
uncle, again? 
Have YOll anything lost in Rüsteviel's yard? Tellrne 
and I'll let 



REYNARD THE FOX 


31 


Him know where you Iuake your abode. I also 
should tell hÍIn, I think, 
That doubtless you have from tbe man a good lot of 
honey purloined. 
Or have you hinl honestly paid 1 How was it that 
this came about? 
Dear ll1e! Who has painted you so ? You have a 
deplorable look. 
Your taste did the honey not suit 1 At tbe sallle 
identical price 
Can more of it yet be obtained. N ow, uncle, do tell 
n1e at once 
Tbe name of the order to whicb you have lately 
devoted yourself, 
That you on your bead have begun a red-coloured 
bonnet to wear 1 
Is it true that you now are a monk? The barber 
assureùly has, 
In trying your tonsure to shave, made a very bad snip 
at your ears; 
I see you are losing your bair and also the skin from 
your cheeks, 
And even your gauntlets as well. Where did you 
leave them to hang? 
And thus the poor bear was compelled his numerous 
Lallte.ring words 
One after the other to hear; while he, in his pain, 
could not speak; 
\Vas indeed at his very wits' end; and so as not fur- 
ther to hear, 
Back into the water he crept, and swam \vith the 
swift-flowing tide, 
Lo\ver down, till a sbore tbat was level he found; he 
landed and lay 
Disheartened anù sick; lamented aloud and remarked 
to himself : 



3 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Oh, that SOllIe one would kill me outright 
 J'lll unable 
to walk, and I ought 
1\ly journey to nlake to the court of the king; yet here 
I reluain, 
So shameful1y injured, behind, and all through Rey- 
nard's vile tricks. 
If I only get through ,vith my life, he verily shall it 
repent. 
Then got he hÏ1uself on his feet and, racked with 
un bearable pain, 
LÜnped 011 for the space of four days, and finally caIne 
to the court. 


The king, setting eyes on the bear as in his distre::;s he 
approached, 
Cried: l\lerciful God! Is it Bruin I see! How is it he 
comes 
1faltreated like this? And Bruin re}Jlied : Alas, it is sad, 
The evil on 'which you now look! Thus Ine has the 
Inischievous knave, 
Reynard, ,Ulost basely betrayed! Then spake in his 
auger the king: 
This outrage I certainly ,,,ill, without any Illercy, avenge. 
Such a noble as Bruin, in faith, would Reynard defy 
and ahuse ? 
Indeed, by my honour, my crO'Vll, I now with so- 
leull1Ïty s,vear 
That Reynard all things shall endure that Bruin by 
la w can demand. 
If I keep not nlY word, no sword any more ,vill I 
\vear ; that I vow! 


The king then a nlandate sent forth, his council together 
should come, 
Consider at once the affair, and a penalty fix for the 
cnme. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


33 


They all recolnmenrled thereon, provided the king 
thought it fit, 
That ReYllard be sunulloned anew hinlself to present 
at the court, 
His rights to defend against charge and complaint; 
and TyLert the cat 
Fortlnvith as the herald be sent the order to Reynard 
to take, 
Becauf-:e he is 'wise and adroit. So counselled they all 
in aceord. 
His gracious assent gave the king to that \vhich the 
coullcil advised; 
And to TyLert he said: Pay attention to all that Iny 
lords ha,ye in vie\v! 
Should he for a third time have to be called, then 
shall it to hinl 
..And everyone of his race for danlage eternal be held. 
He ,vill, if he's ,vise, conle in tÜne. And let your 
lllonition have point; 
Others he ouly contemlls; he listens, ho,vever, to you. 


Tyhert, ho",-ever, replied: 'Vhether to "'Teal or to \voe 
It tend, "'Then I conle ,,,here he is, how shall I the 
matter begin 
 
J1""or'me he lllay do it or not, but still unto me it appears 
Tha t another could better be sent, for I anl so little 
and 'weak. 
Bruin the Lear is lusty and strong, yet to lnaster him 
failed, 
'Vhat chance of success then have I 
 Oh, let l11e, I 
pray, be excused! 


Your pleading convinces me not, responded the king; 
one lllay find 
l\1:any a man that is snlall full of 'wisd()lll and craft, 
which are strange 



34 


REYNARD THE FOX 


To lllany a one that is big. To a giant you nlay not 
have grown, 
But still you are learned and wise. Then yielded the 
cat and replied : 
l\fyself I resign to your will, and if I can meet with a 
sIgn 
To DIY right as I go on the road, lilY journey will be a 
success. 



CARTa THREE. 


WHEN Tybert, the cat, had advanced a short way along 
on his road, 
In the distance a ringtail he saw, and soon as he spied 
him he cried: 
God speed you, illustrious bird! Oh, turn now your 
pinions and fly 
Down here at my right hand side! The bird took his 
flig h t an d disposed 
Himself at the left of the cat, to sing on the bough of 
a tree. 
Now Tybert \vas greatly distressed, for ill-luck it por- 
tended he thought, 
But cheered hÍlnself up for all that, as many are 
customed to do. 
Still towards l\lalepartus he \vent, and arriving, Sir 
Reynard he found 
Sitting in front of the house, to 'whom he thus paid his 
respects: 
May God, the indulgent and good, a prosperous eve to 
you grant; 
Our monarch has threatened your life if you shall 
refuse any l110re 
With nle to proceed to the court; he further directs 
me to say 
That you your accusers lllust meet, or your friends due 
atonement shall nlake. 
To this did Sir Reynard reply: Dear nephew, I wel- 
conle you here; 
That you the protection of God may enjoy to the full 
is my wish. 


35 



3 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


But different far \vere the thoughts that invaded his 
treacherous heart; 
New tricks were engaging his mind; this messenger 
too he would send 
Again to the court in disgrace. This notwithstanding 
the cat 
His nephew he styled, and he said: My nephe\v, what 
can I provide 
For you in the matter of food 1 One always sleeps 
better \vhen filled; 
I am for the present your host; we will travel to- 
1110rrow at dawn 
Together to court; this I think will be well. Of my 
relatives all, 
To me is not anyone known upon whom I so fully 
rely. 
The brutal and gluttonous bear with insolence me did 
approach; 
Ill-ten1pered and strong he is both, and therefore I 
\vould not for much 
The journey have risked at his side. But now, as a 
n1atter of course, 
With you I shall cheerfully go. In the morning we'll 
early set out 
On the way, for to me this appears by far the best 
thing we can do. 
Thell Tybert responded to this: Far better for us it 
would be 
To depart straight away for the court without more 
ad 0, as we are, 
For over the forest is shining the moon and the roads 
are all dry. 
To this Reynard said: A journey by night I regard as 
unsafe; 
By day there are many who'll greet us as friends and 
yet, in the dark 



REYNARD THE FOX 


37 


To fall in our way should they chance, it might not 
turn out for the best. 
Now Ty bert responded in turn : Just tell me, my uncle, 
I pra J, 
If here I reu1aill, what then shall we eat 
 And 
Reynard reillarked: 
But poor is our store, yet, if you reluain, before you I'll ' 
set 
Good honey all fresh in the comb; I'll pick out the 
clearest there is. 
Such stuff I could never endure, ungraciously answered 
the cat. 
If nought in the house can be found, then give me, I 
be a you a mouse' 
ð J' , 
Of food this to me is the best, your honey for others 
pray keep. 
Can luice le so toothsome to you 
 Reynard asked; let 
me honestly know. 
I surely can serve you 'with them. My l1eighbour, the 
priest, hath a barn 
Belo\v in his yard, and within it are mice; such num- 
bers, indeed, 
That hold them a wagon could not; and the priest 
have I frequently heard 
Complain that, by day and by night, to him a worse 
pest they become. 
The cat then imprudently said: Oh, do me the favour, 
I beg, 
Of leading me straight to the n1ice! For to game and 
all else of the kind 
The flavour of mice I prefer. And Reynard then slyly 
rejoined: 
In truth you with me shall enjoy a meal that is fit for 
, a lord, 
And now that I know what for you I can get, let us 
make no delay. 



3 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Tybert trustingly followed the fox and came to the 
barn of the priest, 
To its wall which ,vas nlade out of clay. This l{eynard 
had yesterday dug 
Judiciously through and, by means of the hole, from 
the slulnbering priest 
Had stolen the best of his cocks; and the clergyman's 
dear little son, 
Young l\lal'tin, as he had been llanled, ,vas 'wishing the 
theft to avenge; 
For ,vhich he in front of the hole had fastened a cord 
,vJth a luop ; 
Thus hoping his Lird to avenge on the thief ,vhen again 
he should conle. 
A ,yare was Reynard of this and 'with it in lllind he 
renlarked : 
l\Iy nephe,v, now cl'a,vl through the hole, and I ,vill 
keep guard at the front. 
l\1eanwhile look you after the u1Ìce, for there you ,vill 
find theu1 in swanns, 
And readil) catch in the llark. Oh, listen, ho,v gaily 
they t;queak 1 
\Vhen enough you have had, then COine again back, and 
JOIn me once In ore. 
We nlust not froln each other this evening depart, for 
to-nlolTow, you know, 
We early set out, and ,vill shorten our way with frol- 
icsolne talk. 
Do you feel assured, said the cat, that here it is safe to 
crawl in 
 
For sOllletÏ1nes have parsons been found a little un- 
Christlike in n1Ïnd. 
Here answered that scoundrel, the fox: However could 
that be found out? 
Is it, tinlid you are? Then let us return; Iny dear 
little wife 



REYNARD THE FOX 


39 


'Vill you \vith all honour receive, and furnish a savoury 
uleal ; 
If in it no mice can be found, still let us it joyfully eat. 
But Tybert the cat sprang in through the hole, for he 
felt quite a bashed 
By the bantering words of the fox, and straight he fell 
into the snare. 
In this way the guests of Sir Reynard a bad entertain- 
ment received. 
N O\v Ty bert, as soon as he felt the tightening cord at 
his throat, 
l\:'Iade a start apprehensively back, and flurried became 
through alann. 
Then lllade a 1110re vigorous ju Inp, and tighter the cord 
was thus drawn. 
To Reynard he plaintively called, who then \vith his 
ear at the hole 
"\Vas listing with rancorous joy, and thus through the 
opelliug spake: 
Dear Tybert, ho\v like you the mice 1 You find them, 
I hope, good and fat; 
If only young 1lartin but kne\v that you \vere con- 
sUIning his ganle 
He nlustard had certainly brought, for he is a well- 
lllannered boy. 
At court do they sing so at meals 
 Suspicious ìt 
sounds to my ears. 
If could I but IsengrÍ1n have just no'win the hole, as I you 
To ruin have managed to bring, he surely should pay 
me for all 
The harm that to me he hath done; and Reynard thus 
went on his way. 
He \vent not, however, alone to practise his thievish 
design!5 ; 
Adultery, murder, and treason, and theft, to him were 
no SIns, 



4 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And now he had something on hand for himself. To 
the lovely and fair 
Danle GreedÜllund sought he a visit to pay, with a 
twofold intent: 
lie hoped from her first to find out exactly what 
IsengrÌIll charged, 
And second the villain desired his old escapades to 
renew; 
To court had Sir IsengrÍ1n gone, advantage of which he 
,vonld take; 
For none had the shade of a doubt that the all too 
apparent regard 
Of his wife for the villainous fox had excited the wrath 
of the wolf. 
Reynard entered his mistress's house, but failed to find 
her at home. 
God bless you, my little stepchildren, he said, no more 
and no less, 
Gave an affable nod to the lads and on to his errand he 
sped. 
At morning Danle Greedimund came, as day was 
beginning to break, 
And she asked: Has ngbody been to inquire after 
me 
 And they said: 
Our godfather Reynard is hardly away, and you he 
,voulù see; 
His little stepchildren he called us all WhOlll he found 
in the house. 
Then shouted Dame Greedimund out: Fpr that he 
shall pay! And ran off 
This offence to avenge the very same hour. She had 
reason to know 
Where he \vas accu
ton1ed to ,valle She reached him 
and fiercely began: 
Pray, ,,,hat kind of language is this? vVhat sort of 
outrageous remarks 



REYNARD THE FOX 


4 1 


Have you, ,vithout scruple or shame, in the ears of my 
children pronounced 
 
For this you shall certainly pay. Thus fiercely she 
spake and displayed 
A furious face; laid hold of his beard; and then let 
him feel 
The sharpness and strength of her teeth. He tried to 
run out of her way; 
She suddenly after hilu rushed and then followed stir- 
ring events. 
Not a very lung distance a way had a castle in ruins its 
lJlace, 
Into which they both hurriedly ran; now, by reason of 
age and decay, 
In the wall at one side of a tower a crack could by 
fortuue be seen. 
Through this Reynard managed to slip, but not without 
having to squeeze, 
For narro,v and snlall was the rift; then, bulky and 
plurnp as she was, 
The \volf stuck her head in the cleft; and there having 
gotten she pressed 
And hustled and rooted and shoved, and tried to go 
after the fox, 
But only stuck faster within; she could neither go on 
nor retreat. 
When Reynard took notice of this, he ran to the 
furthermost side, 
By the tortuous path within, and tried her once more 
to lnolest. 
But she ,vas not wanting for words, she rated him 
well; you behave, 
She cried, like a knave and a thief; and Reynard 
responded thereto: 
As never has happened before, so 111ay it just uo'w 
come to pass. 



4 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Slnall credit or honour it brings your wife through 
another to spare, 
As Reynard was doing just now. To the scoundrel no 
nlatter was this. 
\Vhen llO\V, in due process of time, the wolf herself 
freed from the crack, 
\Vas Reynard already a \vay, having gone his own path 
to pursue. 
,A.ud this made her ladyship think that the law she 
herself would enforce, 
Her honour to guard and preserve, which doubly at 
presen t was lost. 


,A,t Tybert now let us once more take a look. The 
1>001' forlorn chap, 
A.8 soon as he felt himself caught, be\vailed in the way 
of a cat 
l-lis distress. This reached little l\Iartin's quick ears, 
and he sprang out of bed. 
Thank God, he exclaimed, the lasso I have at a fortu- 
nate time 
Suspended in front of the hole, for the robber is caught, 
and I think 
He will have to pay \vell for the cock. Thus did 
young l\Iartin rejoice, 
Set light to a candle in haste (the folks in the house 
were asleep), 
His father and mother he woke and all the dOlnestics 
as well, 
And cried: \Ve have captured the fox, so let us upon 
hinl now \vait. 
All came, both the little and big; yea, even the parson 
got up 
And wrapped in a Illantle hiInself; and posted ahead 
of them all 




 


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-- 



REYNARD THE FOX 


43 


His cook \vith a couple of lights; and 
Iartin had hur. 
riedly seized 
A good solid cudgel, \vith which he devoted himself 
to the cat, 
Dealt blo\vs both on body and head, and knocked out 
in fury an eye. 
And into him all of then1 pitched; there came with a 
sharp pointed fork 
The priest in great haste to the fray, expecting to 
settle the thief. 
Tybert no\v thought he should die; then raving 'with 
lnadness he sprang 
Between the bare legs of the priest, and savagely bit 
him and scratched; 
He terribly injured the llian and avenged \vithout 
mercy his eye. 
The priest with a screarn made a rush and fell in a 
faint to the ground. 
Unadvisedly chattered the cook, that the very old 
devil himself 
Had n1anaged the matter to play her a trick; and 
doubly she s\,"ore, 
Yea, threefold indeed, ho\v joyfully she would have 
lost, if this harm 
Had not to her master been done, her entire little bit 
of effects. 
Yea, swore that the loss of a treasure of gold, if one 
she possessed, · 
She certainly 'would not regret; she \vithout it could 
very \vell do. 
Thus bemoaned she her 111aster's disgrace and the ter- 
rible wounds he'd received. 
At length with full many 1an1euts, they laid hin1 again 
on his bcù, 
And Tybert they left in the cord where him they 
completely forgot. 



44 


REYNARD THE FOX 


'Vhen Tybert, the cat, now himself found all alone In 
his ,voe, 
So grievously beaten and covered with wounds, and so 
near unto death, 
He seized, out of sheer love of life, the cord and began 
it to gUQ'v. 
Is there no ,yay to get myself out of this horrible 
scrape? So he thought, 
....t\nd carried his point; the cord snapped in two. How 
happy he felt 
As he hastened to flee from the place where he so 
nluch pain had endured. 
He nimbly escaped from the hole and then in a trice 
lllade his ,yay 
With speed to the court of the king, and on the next 
lllorning arrived. 
He angrily chided hinlself: So the devil has yet been 
obliged 
You, through Reynard's deceit, that traitor most vile, 
to subdue. 
You come again back in disgrace, an eye having lost 
from your head, 
And bitterly laden ,vith stripes, how completely 
ashamed you 11lust be. 


The ,vrath of the king waxed heavy and hot; with 
threats he ordained · 
That ùeath to the traitor be dealt, without any favour 
or grace ; 
Then ordered his council convoked. His nobles and 
legal adepts 
Arrived in response to his call, and he asked how the 
lniscl'eant should 
Be finally brought to account, who now had so guilty 
been shown. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


45 


As increasing cOlllplaints aLout Reynard were con- 
stantly being received, 
Thus GrÏJn bart the badger held forth: In this court of 
justice there are, 
No doubt, a great nUluber of lords who of Reynard 
Lut evil can thiuk ; 
But still to a 
reenlan's just rights Inust violence never 
be done. 
A third tirne he sumlnoned must be; ,vhell this has 
been legally done, 
If he fail his appearance to make, the law may hin1 
guilty prolluunce. 
The lnonarch responded to this: I fear that of all 
there's not Olle 
Who would a third summons convey to the crafty and 
treacherous knave; 
:For ,vbo has Blore eyes than he "rants? And who 
is foolhardy enough 
To endanger his lÏ1n us and his life, on account of this 
mutinous scaulp ? 
To put to such hazard his health, and nevertheless at 
the end 
Reynard fail to arrest? I can think not of one who 
would make the attempt. 


The badger replied very loud: Lord 
{ing, if it please 
you to nlake 
..A.. deluand such as this upon nle, I at once ,viII the 
errand perfonn, 
Let it be \vhatsoever it Inay. Officially will you me 
send, 
Or go I as if of lllyself? You have nothing to do 
but conlmand. 
The king thus assigll
ù him the task : You nlay go ! 
All the charges you've heard, 



4 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


As they have together been Lrought; but go you \vith 
wisdo111 to \vork, 
For he is a dangerous Inan. And Grimbart then said 
in reply: 
This once I \vill venture the task, and hope that I yet 
shall hÏIn bring. 
Thus started he off on the road towards l\lalepartus, 
the fort. 
Reynard he found in the place ,vith ,vife and 'with 
children, a nd said: 
Uncle Reynard, I \vish you good day! Full of learn- 
ing and wisdonl you are, 
And judicious regardeù as \vell: 'we are all with aston- 
ishn1ent filled 
That you the Lehest of the king disregard, I lllay say, 
even lTIock. 
To you seelns it not that the tÏIne has arrived? Re- 
ceived froln all sides 
Are constantly growing complaints and evil reports. 
I ad vise 
That you \vith me con1e to the court; delay will no 
longer avail. 
Already have Inany cOlnplaints been brought to the 
ears of the king, 
And the SUlnnlons I bring you to-day is the third that 
to you has been sent. 
Surrender you not, conden1ned you \vill be; and then 
,viII the king 
Hither his vassals conduct, and you will besiege, and 
reduce 
l\falepartus, this stronghold of yours; and thus will 
to ruin be brought 
Your \vife and your children and goods, and life you 
'will certainly lose. 
The king you can never elude, so the very best thing 
you can do 



REYNARD THE FOX 


47 


Is to travel with me to the court. Of cunnIng de- 
vices and turns 
You never will want; you have them on hand your- 
self to get free. 
For you have assuredly oft, yea, even when present in 
court, 
Adventures encountered far greater than this, and 
always contrived 
To COBle froln them an ,vith éclat, and leave your 
opponents disgraced. 


Thus ended Sir Grimbart his speech and Reynard re- 
sponded thereto: . 
Dear uncle, you counsel me well, that I put in appear- 
ance at court 
In person my rights to defend. I ea
llestly hope that 
the king 
Will grant me his grace; he knows of what service to 
hin1 I can be, 
And also is fully a,vare how rnuch I aln hated for 
this. 
No court can be held without me. And had I yet ten 
tin1es as n1uch 
Done amiss, still \vithout hesitation I kno,v that if I 
can succeed 
Him to lneet to his face and before him to pleäd, he 
will certainly find 
The ire in his breast overCOlne. There are many, iu- 
deed, \vho attend 
Our monarch day in and day out, and have in his 
council a seat, 
But nought about these does he care; among the 
\vholc lot can be found 
N either reason nor sense. At every session, however, 
of court, 



4 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


"'Therever it is I may be the decree to my wisdom is 
left. 
'Vhen lllonarch and nobles convene, in critical mat- 
ters of state 
To fonnulate prudent advice, it is Reynard \vho has it 
to find. 
There are Illany who envy Ille this; and, alas, I must 
Le on IllY guard, 
For they've s\vorn to encornpass my death, and the 
vvickedest far of theIl1 all 
.T ust no\v are together at court, which certainly gives 
Iue concern, 
Over ten can I count, and nlighty ones too, then how 
by nlyself 
Can I such a llulnber withstand? For this bave I 
Illade sueh delay. 
I think it, hovvev:er, now well to accolnpany you to the 
court, 
11y suit at the bar to defend; this me greater honour 
will brin g 
Than through any slackness of nline lilY 'wife and my 
offs p rin cr to l)lun(J'e 
ð 1:' 
 
Into dangers anli griefs without end; \ve everyone 
fihould be lost, 
For the king is too mighty for me, and be it \vhatever 
it Inay, 
The såme 111USt I do so soon as commanded by him; 
we can try 
To lllake \vith our enen1Íes there sonle useful arrange- 
luent, perhaps. 
{leynard then said to his \vife: Look after the children 
I beg! 

\Ild more than of ev JIl the rest, take care of the 
youngest, l
einl1i1l't, 
\Vith his fine set of teet It ill his dear little lllouth; I 
hope that he \",ill 



REYl';ARD THE FOX 


49 


IIis father's true inHlge beconle; and here's Rosse}], the 
arch little rogue, 
'\Vha is just as endeared to my heart. For both of 
the children, I beg, 
Do the best that you can while I'n1 gone 1 I ,,,ill it 
you aUlply repay 
Shoul(l I luckily conle again back, and you to Il1Y 

oullsel give heed. 
\Vith this he departed from thence, attended by Grim- 
bart, his friend; 
Left El'lnelyn there \vith both of her sons and hurried 
a\vay; 
He left ill-provided his house, which made very anx- 
ious his wife. 


N at yet a short hour on the road had proceeded to- 
gether the t,vo 
"'Then Reynard to Gl'Ï1nbart thus spake: Dear nephew, 
UlOst \vorthy of friends, 
To you I'm cOlllpelled to avow that I trenlble all,over 
,vith fear; 
I cannot myself get a ,yay from the bitter and terrible 
thought 
That verily T an1 pursuing the road to n1Y death. 
Thus I see 
My sins all before me displayed, all ever committed 
by me. 
You cannot imagine the dread with which I no,v find 
myself filled. 
Pray let n1e confess, give ear to Iny ,vords, for no other 
priest 
Can be hereabouts found, and if a clean breast I no,v 
make of theul all, 
No ,vorse on accou nt of the same shall I stand in the 
mind of my king. 



50 


REYNARD THE FOX 


GrÜnbart then said: First you must robbing and steal- 
ing give up, 
All scandalous breaches of faith and other accustomed 
deceits, 
Or confession ,viII do you no good. I know it, re- 
sponded the fox, 
So let Iile begin on the spot, and you with attention 
gIve ear. 


Confiteor tibi, Pater et l\1ater, that I on the cat, 
The otter, and many besides right numerous antics 
have played, 
I confess it and freely subnlit IllY self to the penance 
entailed. 
Speak English, the badger replied, whereby Inlay 
know ,vhat you mean. 
At this Reynard said: I cannot deny that I certainly 
have 
Transgressed against all of the beasts at present exist- 
ing on earth; 
:,For instance, lny uncle the bear, WhOUl I caught in the 
IÜn b of a tree, 
'Vhose head ,vas all covered with blood, and who was 
so wounded with blows. 
Then Ty bert I led after mice, but yet held him fast in 
a cord. 
\T ery luuch he ,vas forced to endure, and met with the 
loss of an eye. 
So Henning with reason complained, for him of his 
children I robbed, 
Both little and big as they came, and found them quite 
good to the taste. 
I excepted not even the king, and 111anifold capers and 
tricks 
With bol
ness I've played upon him, and too on his 
consort, the queen, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


51 


FraUl ,vhich she but lately got \vell. And further I'in 
bound to confess 
That Isengrinl have I, the \vo1f, with industry greatly 
disgraced ; 
But time have I not the "'Thole to I'elate. I ahvays 
hiln called 
1\1y ullcle, but only in jest, for between us no kinship 
exists. 
X o,v once on a time, nearly six years ago, he came to 
Elklllar, 
When there in the convent I lived, to see me and ask 
lIle for help, 
Because he a notion had fornled of becon1Ïng a monk; 
he thought 
It lnight be a profession for hÌ111; so gave a good pull 
at the bell, 
.And greatly the ringing enjoyed. Thereon his front 
pa \vs I made fast 
In the rope that was tied to the bell. He did not 
demur, anù, thus fixed, 
He pulled and diverted himself, and seelned to be 
learning the bells; 
Yet could not, however, the art but a bad reputation 
hÜn bring, 
J'or as stupid and crazy he rang, till all of the people 
around 
Collected with haste in disnlay froln every alley and 
street, 
For certain they felt that a grievous disaster had conle 
to the town. 
They came and discovered him there, and before he 
could even explain 
His wish to ern1race the clel'icallife, he \vas suddenly 
caught 
By the surging and furiouß cro",d, and ahnost was 
beaten to death. 



S2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


'Yet still did the fool in his purpose persist, and even 
irnplorerl 
That I \yith due honour \vould see that a tonsure for 
hitn was procured; 
I therefore had cut the hair on his cro\vn and so thor- 
oughly singed 
That frizzled with heat was the skin and parched as a 
pea that is baked. 
Thus often for hitn 1 prepared hard cuffs, severe kicks, 
and disgrace. 
And I taught hinl the way to catch fish, which never 
do \vith hinl agree. 
lIe follo\ved nle once to the border of France, when 
jointly we stole 
To the house ,vhere a parson abode, the richest ot all 
thereabouts. 
This parson a storehouse possessed with a nUInùer of 
sHvuury hains ; 
Of baeon SOlne long tender sides he kept there for 
curing as \yell, 
....\..n<1 likewise a tubful of meat but recently placed in 
the brine. 
Now Isengrirn Inanaged, at length, in the ,vall, 'which 
of stone \\'as COll1posed, 
,A, hole of ROBle llleaSlll'e to scratch, through which he 
Inight easily go. 
I juggell hiIn alollg at the work, his avarice also hin1 
ul'O'ed . 
t'" , 
But arnid the profusion he found he could not restrain 
his desires, 
But stuffed without measure hirnself, by reaHon of 
,vhich did the cleft 
Put a powerful curb on his 111uch s\vollen frame and 
checkea his return. 
Oil! ho\v he denounced the perfidious thing, that 
allo",-ed him to pass 



, 


REYNARD THE FOX 


53 


When hungry 'within, but would not permit him 'when 
filled to go back I 
Thereon in the village I raised a hubbub and outcry 
so great 
That soon I excited the folk to luok for the trail of 
the \volf; 
Then ran to the clergyman's house, and came on hiln 
ha ving a meal, 
Just as before him ,vas placed a capon, young, tender, 
and cooked 
To a T, so upon it I swooped and carried it off in Iny 
nlouth. 
Up juulped the good priest with a screanl, and after llJC 
tried to pursue, 
And the table knocked over \vith all that \vas on it 
to eat and to drillk. 
Catch and belabour hinl \vell; kick him out, cried the 
furious priest, 
Then cooled off his ,vrath in a pool that lay ulloLseryed 
in his ,yay, 
Wherein he IlO\V floundered full length; and peol'le 
rushed in crying: Strike! 
At this I raR off from the place and after 111e all in 
a cro,vd 
Who to 111e the most venomous felt. The parson \yas 
heard above all : 
The bold and audacious thief! he took froln nlY tal)le 
the fowl I 
Then ran I as fast as I could until I arrivpd at the 
barn, 
And there, much against lllY de
ire, I let the Lird slip 
to the earth, 
As I, to my grief, too heavy it found; and thus to the 
crowd 
I was lost, but the fowl was regained, and as the priest 
raised it aloft 



, 


54 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Becalne he aware of the \volf in the barn, and the 
cro\vd saw him too. 
The father now called to thenl all: COllIe quickly and 
punllllel him well; 
To our hands has a different thief, a ,yolf, been 
delivered instead; 
A "ray should he get, disgraced \ve should be, and truly 
,vollld all 
Be laughing at our expense frolll the cast to the ,vest 
of the land. 
The ,V'olf f'Olne hard thinkillg no\v did; upon hinl feU 
blo\vs like the raill, 
On his bolly in every part, and inflieted nlost torturing 
'vou nds. 
...L\..ll shoute(l as loud as they could, and the BIen who 
behind had been left 
In a body together rushed up alHl felled hitn for de
Hl 
to the earth. 
He never, so long as he'd lived, had lllet ,vith affliction 
so great; 
If one should on canvas it paiut, it very astounding 
\vould be 
To notice how he the good priest repaid for his bacon 
and halns. 
They bundled hinl out on the road and seized hÍ1n and 
dragged hinl pell-lnell 
Through hedges and ditches and Hlud, till ill hinl no 
life could be traced; 
He ulade hiulself dirty and foul, and hence, ,vith 
abhorrence and hate, 
He out of the village ,vas cast, and left in a deep filthy 
pool, 
They thinking at last he ,vas dead. In such ignomin- 
IOUS swoon 
I kno\v not ho,v long he remained, ere he conscious 
became of his woe; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


55 


....\nd how after all he got off, that too have I never 
found out, 
And yet not long since (it rnay be a year) he swore 
that to me 
Ever faithful and true he would be, but this did not 
last very long. 
N ow why he did thus to Iue swear I \vas able with 
ease to conceive. 
I came on binl once when he wished his fill of sonle 
fowls to procure; 
And, so as to play him a trick, I pictured \vith clear- 
ness and care 
A beam upon \vhich, as a rule, a cock in the evening 
,vould roost, 
With seven fat hens at his side. I guided him then to 
the place, 
In stillness and darkness of night, as twelve by the 
clock had been struck; 
The sash of the window, I knew, was raised \vith a 
thin piece of wood, 
And stood ready open for use, so in I pretended 
to go, 
But then I surrendered my place, and my uncle I 
asked to go first, 
Aud said: Proceed boldly within; on well-fattened 
hens you will COlne. 
If you your fair lady would win, you lllUst never faint- 
hearted become. 
Very cautiously crawled he inside and groped with the 
greatest of care 
Hither and thither about, and at length he indignantly 
said : 
Oh, how you have led me astray! Of fowls, in good 
truth, I can find 
Not a feather. I said: The birds that in front were 
accustomed to sit 



, 


54 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Becarne he aware of the wolf in the barn, and the 
cro\vd saw him too. 
The father now called to then1 all: C0111e quickly and 
punuuel hÜn well; 
To our hands has a different thief, a \volf, been 
delivered instead; 
A way should he get, disgraced we should be, and truly 
would all ' 
Be laughing at our expense frolll the cast to the west 
of the land. 
The ,volf sorne hard thinking JlO\V did; upon hÜu fell 
blo,vs like the raiu, 
On his body in every part, and inflicted 1110St. torturing 
,vounds. 
...L\11 shoute(l as loud as they coulLl, and the llH
l1 who 
behind had been left 
In a body together rushed up Hl1(l felled hÜn for dead 
to the earth. 
He never, so long as he'd lived, had luet \vith atlliction 
so great; 
If one should on canvas it paint, it very astounding 
would be 
To notice how he the good priest repaid for his bacon 
and halus. 
They bundled hitn out on the road and seized hinl and 
dragged hin1 rell-nlell 
Through hedges and ditches and HIUd, till ill hin} no 
life could be traced; 
lie Hlade hÍ1nself dirty and foul, and hence, \vith 
abhorrence and hate, 
He out of the village ,vas cast, and left in a ùeep filthy 
pool, 
They thinking at last he ,vas dead. In such ignomin- 
IOUS swoon 
I kno\v not ho\v long he remained, ere he conscious 
became of his woe; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


55 


....\nd how after all he got off, that too have I never 
found out, 
;\..nd yet not long since (it lnay be a year) he swore 
that to lne 
Ever faithful and true he would be, but this did not 
last very long. 
N ow why he did thus to Ine swear I was able with 
ease to conceive. 
r came on him once when he wished his fill of some 
fowls to procure; 
And, so as to play hÜn a trick, I pictured with clear- 
ness and care 
A beanl upon \vhieh, as a rule, a cock in the evening 
\vould roost, 
With seven fat hens at his side. I guided him then to 
the place, 
In stillness and darkness of night, as twelve by the 
clock had been struck; 
The sash of the window, I knew, was raised \vith a 
thin piece of wood, 
And stood ready open for use, so in I pretended 
to go, 
But then I surrendered my place, and my uncle I 
asked to go first, 
And said: Proceed boldly within; on well-fattened 
hens you will COlne. 
If you your fair lady would win, you Inust never faint- 
hearted become. 
Very cautiously crawled he inside and groped with the 
greatest of care 
Hither and thither about, and at length he indignantly 
said : 
Oh, how you have led me astray! Of fowls, in good 
truth, I can find 
Not a feather. I said: The birds that in front were 
accustomed to sit 



56 


REYNARD THE FOX 


-Myself I have carried a,vay, the others are further behind; 
Without hesitation go on and nlÍnd that with caution 
you step. 
The bealn was undoubtedly snlall on which we so care- 
fully walked, 
Yet I kept him in front and n\yself well behind; then 
backwards I made 
My way through the 'window again, and gave a good 
tug at the ,vood ; 
Down came the sash ",
ith a bang, and the wolf made a 
start of alarrn; 
In shaking he fell fronl the beam and came in a heap 
to the ground. 
Now, affr
ghted, the people a\voke, \vho all were asleep 
by the fire. 
What fell in the \vindo\v? they crieJ, in direst con- 
fusion and fear; 
Without loss of tÜue they arose; and, speedily lighting 
the larnp, 
Hinl Jown in the corner they found, and struck hirn 
and poli
hetl his skin 
To the fullest extent of their strength; it surprises me 
how he escaped. 


Still further to you I confess, that I to Dame Greedi- 
nl und oft 
In secret have gone, and openly too. Now certainly that 
Ought not to have ever occurreù, and I wish I had left 
it undone, 
For, live she as long as she lllay, her shame she will 
scarcel y repair. 


I now ha ve confessed to you all tlîat, endeavour as 
llluch as I rnay, 
I am able to bring to my nlÍnd, and it heavily weighs 
on nlY soul 



REYNARD THE FOX 


57 


"Absolve me, I pray you, therefrolu, anù meekly be sure 
that 1 will 
All penance perform to its end, no matter how much 
you III pose. 


Already to Gl'ÏInhart 'twas kno\vn how he in such case 
should proceed ; 
He broke off a t\vig on the way, and said: Strike, 
uncle, yourself 
Three times on the back with this twig, and then put 
it carefully ùo\vn, 
In the lnanner I shuw, on the earth, and as nlany tilnes 
over it jump; 
\Vith meekness then kissing the t\vig yourself fitly 
dutiful show; 
Such is the penance I lay upon you, and pronounce 
you frolll all 
Your sins and all chastisenlents free and discharged. I 
fully forgive 
You all in the name of the Lord, whatever it be you 
have done. 


\Yhen Reynard the penance enjoined had duly per- 
formed to the end, 
Then Grim bart IDOst solemnly said: l\Iy uncle, let 
now in good works 
Be clear your repentance to all; the psalrns also read, 
. and attend 
The churches \vith zeal, and fast on the days appointed 
by law. 
To hin1 who lllay ask show clearly the way, and give to 
the poor 
\Vithout stint, and unto me swear your infamous life 
to forsake; 
,All plundering, robbing, and theft, seduction and trea- 
son avoid, 



58 


REYNARD THE FOX 


For certain it is that by this you alone \vill to mercy 
attain. 
Then Reynard replied: I will do as you say, I pledge 
you nl y word. 


Thus was the shrift at an end, and then they continued 
their way 
To palace and court of the king; the saintly Grimbart 
and he 
Then threaded a blackish and fertile expanse, ,vhere a 
con vent they saw 
On the right-hand side of the road, in \vhich holy 
women engaged 
In serving of God fron1 1110rnillg to night, and kept in 
their yard 
Of cocks a great nUluber alld hens and many fine 
capons as well, 
Who 'wandered at tin1es for their food a distance outside 
of the ,vall, 
Where Reynard had called on them oft. So now unto 
Grimbart he said: 
Our speediest ,yay is to p
ss along by the side of this 
wall. 
But set were his thoughts on the fowls, ho,v they ,vere 
out taking the air. 
So there his confessor he led, till near to the birds they 
approached; 
Then the scamp to and fro in his head set rolling his 
covetous eyes. 
He was pleased above all \vith a cock, in splendid con- 
dition and young, 
Which finnly he fixed in his eye, as he Rtrutted astern 
of the rest; 
Behind hin1 he hastily sprang, and the feathers a-flying 
began. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


59 


Indignantly GÍ'imbart reproved the shameful relapse of 
the fox: 
Base nephew, beha ve you like this, and would you 
alread y again 
Make a sinful atta.ck on a fowl so soon after you have 
been shrived? 
Such penitence seems to llle fine! And Reynard to 
GrirnlJart replied: 
Dear uncle, if even in thought I any such thing call 
have clone, 
Then pray unto God that he lllay in lllercy forgive 1ne 
the sin. 
I gladly forbear and never \vill do so again. Then they 
went 
Round about Ly the con vent again to their road, and 
thus \vere obliged 
To cross a din1Ìnutive bridge, and Reynard behind hÌ1n 
cast eyes 
A second titue after the fowls; he could not hirnself 
keep in check; 
Had anyone cut off his head, \vithout any question it 
would 
Have flown in pursuit of the birds, so vehelnent vras 
his desire. 


Grin1bart observed this and cried: 'Vhere let you, lHY 
nephew, your eyes 
Again wend their way? Of a truth, an odious glutton 
you are! 
Said Reynard, much pained, in reply: My uncle, you 
do me a wrong; 
Do not so excited beco1l1e, and disturb not, I beg you, 
my prayers, 
But a paternoster allo\v me to say, for the souls of the 
fowls 



60 


REYr-
ARD THE FOX 


And geese are in need of the same, as many as I from 
the nuns, 
Those heaven-born women, have filched, by use of my 
prudence and skill. 
Grimbart said not a word, and the fox turned his head 
not away from the fowls 
So long as in sight they remained. They managed, 
ho'wever, at length, 
The road they had left to regain and began to dra w 
near to the court; 
And as Reynard the castle observed, in which dwelt 
his In aster th eking, 
He inwardly troubled became, for the charges against 
him were grave, 



CANTO FOUR. 


WHEN rumour got spread at the court that Reynard 
was coming indeed, 
To see him all hurried outside, both noble and conln1on 
alike, 
And few of thenl friendly disposed; nearly an had 
con1plaints to prefer. 
But Reynard undoubtedly thought that this no signifi- 
cance had; 
At least so he carried hiInself, as with GrÌlllbart the 
badger he came, 
This mon1ent, with boldness and grace, along through 
the principal street. 
Courageous and cahn, he ad vanced, as if, of a truth, he 
had been 
Own son and true heir of the king, and free and devoid 
of all fault; 
Yea 1 thus before Leo he stepped, and took in the 
palace his place 
Right up in the midst of the lords; he kne,v how to 
feign unconcern. 
Illustrious king and worshipful lord, he began to 
declaÍln, 
Most noble and mighty you are, foremost in merit and 
rank; 
I therefore you humbly entreat to hear me with jus- 
tice to-day. 
Of your J\1ajesty's servitors all, not a soullnore devoted 
than I 
Has ever been found; this without hesitation I dare to 
maintain; 


61 



62 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And many I know at the court, who would gladly 
oppress me for that, 
To me would your friendship be lost, if now, as my 
enemies wish, 
The lies they disseminate should, perchance, to you 
credible seem. 
But you, as is lucky for nle, investigate every com- 
plaint. 
As fully accused as accusers you hear; and, though 
they have told 
Many falsehoods behind my back, yet tranquil I rest 
and reflect 
That well you IllY loyalty kno,v, which brings persecu- 
tion on me. 
Be silent! responded the king, no prattle or fawning 
will help; 
Your iniquities din in our ears, and punishment now 
vou a waits. 
1/ 
Regard have you had for the peace, that I to the 
beasts have proclaimed 
And s\vorn to maintain? There stands the cock! 
His children have you, 
Malicious and treacherous thief, one after another 
destroyed ! 
And for Ille the depth of your love, you wish, I pre- 
SUlne, to evince 
'Vhell you my authority spurn, and my servants so 
grossly abuse! 
T3e health of poor Tybert's destroyed, and by slo,v and 
distressing degrees 
Will the suffering bear get well of the wounds inflicted 
by you. 
But I \vill you not further reproach, for here are 
accusers enough, 
And acts that are proved to the hilt; you hardly this 
ti ill e can escape. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


63 


Aln I, nlost benevolent sire, for this to be guilty 
adjudged? 
Reynard said. Do I iucur blanle if Bruin, with blood- 
covereù Cl'O\Vll, 
CaIne lÜnpillg again to you back? If he took the risk, 
and presullled 
On Rüsteviel's honey to feed, and the half-\vitted 
peasants against 
Him lifted their hands, yet still is he strong and enor- 
mous of lilnb. 
If they blows and abuse on him cast, ere into the 
water he ran, 
He could, as a vigorous man, the onset with ease 
have repelled. 
And also, if Tybert the cat, \VhOIll I \vith due honour 
received 
And treated as \vell as I could, frOln stealing could not 
hi mself keep, 
But into the house of the priest, although I hinl faith- 
full v warned, 
.. 
vV' eut sneaking when night had set in, and there Inade 
acquaintance with grief, 
Have I retribution deserved because he bebaved like a 
fool? 
Too near to your princely crown, indeed, \vonld the 
consequence lie! 
With me, to be sure, you can deal in accord with your 
sovereign will, 
And, clear as the case may appear, Inay give what 
decision you please, 
Whether be it to weal or be it to woe the Inatter Inay 
tend. 
If I'm to be roasted or boiled, if I'm to be blinded or 
hanged, 
Or beheaded indeed, I aIn perfectly willing that so it 
be done. 



64 


REYNARD THE FOX 


We are all in the grasp of your po\ver, completely are 
we in your hands; 
For you are majestic and strong; how then can the 
helpless resist? 
If you put me to death, by that, of a truth, very little 
you game 
Let happen, however, what may, I loyally yield to the 
law. 


Then Bellyn the ram began to remark: The time has 
arrived 
To advance our cOInplaints. And then with his rela- 
tives, Tybert the cat 
And Bruin the bear, and a legion of beasts, Lorù Isen- 
grllll ca lIle ; 
Also Bald Will the ass and Lampen the hare presented 
then1selves; 
And Nidget the puppy appeared, with the bulldog 
Rhyn and the doe, 
N ameù Metke, with Herman the buck; and squirrel 
and weasel, as well 
As the ermine, vvere added thereto. N or did either the 
ox or the horse 
N egleet to be there. Near by could be seen the beasts 
of the chase, 
Among them the stag and the roe; and Bockert the 
beaver came too, 
With marten and rabbit and boar; together they all 
crowded in ; 
Bartolt the stork aud Pica the jay and Grusley the 
crane 
Came fiying across with Tibke the duck and Alheid the 
goose ; 
And others besides came hurrying in with their 
trou bles and woes. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


65 


IIenning, the grief-stricken cock, \vith his cbildren, 
now but a fe\v, 
1\iade bitter cOlnplaint; and hither there came without 
111.unber the birds, 
And a concourse so great of the beasts that no one 
could 111ention their names. 
All made an attack on the fox, and hoped that his 
n1any n1Ísdeeds 
They no\v into question might bring, and inflicted his 
punishment see. 
In front of the monarch they pressed, with vehement, 
furious speech; 
Charges on charges they heaped, and narratives ancient 
and lle\V 
Introduced. In ODe single sitting of court there never 
had been 
Brought up to the throne of the king, so many com- 
plaints to be heard. 
His place Reynard took and proceeded with skill his 
defence to conduct. 
He began his address, and forth from his mouth the 
eloquent \vords 
Of his justification outflowed, as if they were obvious 
truth. 
He \vas lnaster of wbflt to present and ,vhat to say 
nothing about; 
And his auditors all were amazed, and thought be ,vas 
innocent sho\vn. 
He even had clairns of his own to put in, and charges 
to make. 
At length there rose up to their feet some genuine, 
trustworthy men, 
\Vho posted themselves by the fox, against him their 
eviden ce ga ve, 
And all of his wickedness clearly made known. That 
settled the case, 



66 


REYNARD THE FOX 


For then, with unanimous voice, the court of the king 
resol ved 
That Reynard the fox was worthy of death; that he 
should be seized, 
IUlprisoned and hanged by the neck, in order that he be 
compelled 
For his infamous crimes to atone with an ignominious 
death. 


J list now did Reynard himself consider the game as 
all up. 
Not very much good had been done by his cunning 
harangue. The king 
Pronounced sentence hiInself: and then was the 
criminal's pitiful end, 
As him they inlprisoned and bound, paraded in sight 
of his eyes. 


As Reynard there stood, shackled according to sen- 
tence and law, 
His foes were bestirring themselves to lead him at 
once to his death; 
But his friends stood about in dislnay, quite overcome 
\vith their grief, 
Grimbart and lVIartin the ape, with others of kin to 
the fox. 
The sentence with umbrage they beard, and all were 
more filled with regret 
Than expected n1Íght be; for Reynard of barons was 
one of the chief: 
And there he no\v stood, of all of his honours and 
offices stripped 
And doomed to a shallleful death. How now must 
the scene they surveyed 



REYNARD THE FOX 


67 


His kinsmen have cut to the quick! In a body 
together they took 
Their leave of t.he king, and ,vit.hdre\v from the court, 
to the last that \vas there. 


The monarch, however, it vexed, that so n1any knights 
should depart 
From hinl thus. It no\v could be seen ho\v great ,vas 
the crowd of his kin 
Who had gone, in their great discontent at Reynard's 
impending ùoom. 
And thus did his :ð1ajesty speak to one of his trustiest 
friends: 
Undoubtedly Reynard is vile; ,ve lTIUst, for all that, 
bear in mind 
That many relations he has, 'who cannot be spared 
from the court. 


But IsengrÏ1n, Bruin, and Tybert the eat, all three of 
them \vere 
About the poor captive at work; impatient the in- 
fanlous death, 
As a,varded had been by the king, to execute now on 
the.ir foe; 
So hurriedly dragged hin1 outside, and the gallo,vs 
beheld from afar. 
And now the tom-cat to the wolf began, in his fury, 
to speak: 
Consider, lAOI'd Isengrim, well, how Reynard once 
schen1eù in all ways, 
And everything did that he could, and succeeded, too, 
in his hate, 
On the gallo\vs your brother to see. How joyously 
n1arched he along 
With him to the place of his doom ! Neglect not to 
pay him the debt. 



68 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And rell1ember, Sir Bruin as well, how shamefully you 
he betra yed, 
Below there in llüsteviel's yard, to the boorish and 
furious clowns, 
Male and fen1ale alike, and scurvily left you to \vounds 
and to blo\vs, 
And the shame thereupon that ensued, which no\v in 
all regions is kno\vn. 
Take care and your efforts unite, for if he escape us 
to-day, 
And freedolll contrive to procure, by his lvit and 
insidious arts, 
A time for our precious revenge \vill never be granted 
agaIn ; 
So let us nlake haste and avenge the wrongs he has 
done to us all. 


Then Isengrim said: What use are your words? Go, 
bring llle at once 
A reliable cord; with that \ve will soon put him out 
of his pain ! 
Thus spake they ill of the fox and journeyed along on 
th e road. 


In silence heard Reynard their words; at length he, 
however, began: 
Since DIe you so bitterly hate, and thirst for a deadly 
revenge, 
I am greatly surprised that you seem not to know 
how to bring it about! 
Your Tybert is fully informed where a good trusty 
rope may be found, 
For he did it n10st carefully test, when into the house 
of the priest 
He thrust hin1self in after mice, and did not with 
honour return. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


69 


But, IsengrÜn, you and the bear are making such 
terriLle haste 
Your uncle to bring to his end, of course you intend 
to succeed. 


The monarch arose fro In his seat, with all the noblesse 
of his court, 
The sentence to see carried out; and also was present 
the queen, 
vVho with the procession had COlne, by her ladies 
escorted in state; 
And behind the111 a lTItÜtitude flocked, composed of 
the poor anù the rich, 
A.11 wishing for Reynard's decease, and hoping to see 
it take place. 
IseugrÏ1n uttered Ineall'while a \vord to his l...insrnen 
and friends, 
Exhorting theln all to be sure cornpactly together to 
hold, 
And keep on the lllallacled fox a steady and vigilant 
eye; 
:For they were in constant dread of the shre\vd fellow's 
getting a\vay. 
The wolf, above all, cOlnlnanded his 'wife: If you set 
any store 
On your life, take heed to my words and help us the 
rascal to hold! 
If he manage to get himself free, we all are involved 
in disgrace. 
And further to Bruin he said: Bethink how he held 
you in- scorn I 
With usury now can you pay the whole of your debt 
to h itn back. 
Tybert is able to climb, and above shall he fasten the 
rope. 



7 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


You hold him and give U1e your help, and I will the 
ladder remove; 
Then all, in a luinute or t\VO, with this knave will be 
Lrought to an elide 
Said the bear: Put the ladder in place, and I will 
hÌ1n certainly hold. 


See now, Reynard said when they'd done, ho\v exceed- 
ingly busy you are 
In leading your uncle to death! I should think you ' 
would rather hilli guard 
And protect; and, in his distress, would SOllie little 
pity display; 
I gladly for mercy would Leg, but what should I profit 
by that? 
Isengrim hates me o'ermuch; yea, even his wife he 
has told 
To hold me and see to it well that the way of escape 
is cut off. 
Should she but reflect on the past, then could she not 
InjUre me no\v; 
But if I am doomed to be slain, I earnestly wish that 
it Inight 
Be speedily done. l\fy father too came into frightful 
distress, 
But yet at the last it was quick. There attended, I 
kno.w, at his death 
Not quite such a nun1ber as here. If longer, however, 
you Inean 
Me to keep in suspense, then must it in truth redound 
to your shame. 
Do you hear, said Bruin the bear, hü\v boldly the vag- 
abond talks? 
Come on! String him up out of hand I The time for 
his end has arrived. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


7 1 


Earnestly now did Reynard reflect: Oh! could I but 
think, 
At once, of some artifice new, to aid me in this urgent 
need, 
Whereby might the king, in his grace, with clemency 
grant lIle my life, 
And these, Iny irnplaca ble foes, all three, into sha-rne 
nlight be thrown! 
Of all let n1e think, and then nlust things shift for 
theInse}yes, for here 
Is in question ll1Y neck ! Not a monleDL to lose! 
IIo,v shall I escape? 
Evils of all kincls upon 1He are heaped. The king is 
displeased, 
!-fy friends are all Inelted a\vay, and matters controlled 
by n1Y foes. 
I have rarely done anything good, and even the n1ight 
of the king, 
As well as his council's advicc, have I truly but little 
esteeined. 
I am guilty of much that is \vrong, and yet my ill- 
luck have I hoped, 
Each time, to avert. Had I but the chance to say a 
few \vords, 
I surely should then not be hanged; I will not aban- 
don the hope. 


His back to the lallder he turned, \vith face to the 
people belo\\", 
And cried: Before 111e I see the grin} figure of death, 
and can him 
Not escape. And no\v frOln you all, as many as hear 
me, I beg 
But a little extension of time, before I depart from 
the earth. 



7 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Indeed I should very much like to you my confession 
SIncere 
To publicly make for the last time on earth, and truly 
disclose 
Whatever of hal'll1 I have done, so that to another, 
perchan ce, 
l\Iay not, in the future, be laid this criminal action or 
that, 
Till no\V unsuspected by you, but done under cover 
by me; 
That I rnay thereby, at the last, much evil prevent, 
and may hope 
That God, in his fulness of grace, will remember me 
now in my need. 


A nunlber to pity were moved, and one to another 
they said: 
Small is the favour and short the reprIeve. They 
petitioned the king, 
And the king conceded their prayer. Then again did 
Reynard beCOITlè 
A little more lightsolne of heart, and hoped for a 
happy result; 
The granted occasion he turned to account, and as 
follo\vs he spake: 
Spiritus DonlÏni, come to DIY aid! Not one do I 
see, 
In all the VÆtst concourse that's here, \vhorn I have not 
sOITletime ill-used. 
First, I 'was yet but a youngster small, and the breast 
of IT1Y ùam 
Had hardly forgotten to suck, when IT1Y passions I 
followed unchecked 
Among the young lambs and the goats that, a distance 
apart from the flock, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


73 


At play were dispersed in the fields; their dear bleat- 
ing voices I heard 
Too gladly by far, as a craving I got for more delicate 
food, 
And soon their acquaintance I made. One lambkin I 
slew with nlY teeth, 
And drank up its blood; it tasted so good that I killed 
and devoured 
Also four of the youngest goats, and thus further 
training obtained. 
I exelllpted no kind of &. bird, not a fowl, nor a duck 
D or a goose, 
On which I might light, and have in the sand full 
many entombed, 
When all that I harried to death I did not desire to 
consu nl e. 
It after\vards happened one winter to me, on the banks 
of the l
hille, 
That Isengrinl came I to know, who was lurking aback 
of the trees. 
He assured me, without losing time, that I was a kins- 
Inan of his; 
Indeed on his fingers he could the precise degrees of 
the tie 
Call over to me. I gave my assent, an alliance we 
formed, 
And each to the other engaged as trusty companions to 
roa lll. 
Ah, many an evil thereby was I doomed to prepare for 
myself ! 
Together we went through the land; while he stole 
the big on our way, 
And I stole the small. Whate'er we obtained was COlll- 
m on to be ; 
But common indeed it was not, he parted it just as he 
chose; 



74 


REYNARD THE FOX 


A balf I have never received. Yea, \yorse bave I suf- 
fered than this; 
If he managed a calf to purloin, or get for his booty a 
ram, 
If I found hin1 at table with n10re than enough, or 
consulning a goat 
Just recently done to its death; if a buck in the grasp 
of his cIa ,vs, 
Despite of its struggles, \vas held, at me he ,vould grin 
and look sour, 
Till gro\vling, he drove IHe away, IHY share to retain 
for himself. 
It always turned out \vith me thus, no Inatter the size 
of the joint 
He had got. Indeed, if to pass it should come that, in 
cOlnpany, we 
Should Inanage to capture an ox, or ourselves possess 
of a cow, 
At once made appearance his \vife and seven young 
cu bs on the scene, 
Who then would lay hold of the prey, and cro'wJ me 
away from the Inea1. 
Not even a rib could I get; so polished and dry \vere 
they gnawed, 
That nothing like Illeat could be found; and I 1l1ust 
contented appear. 
But heaven, however, be praised, I suffered not hunger 
there by. 
Froln that splendid treasure of n1ine I kept myself 
privately fed, 
By mea.ns of the silver and gold, that securely I keep 
in a place 
Not easily found. Therein have I all I can want; for, 
in truth, 
No wagon could bear it away, if it seven times went to 
the task. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


75 


The king paid attention thereto, as mention was made 
of his ,vealth, 
Inclined himself forward and asked: Fron1 whence 
did it COlne to your hands? 
Speak out and at once! The treasure I mean! And 
then Reynard said: 
This secret from you I ,vill not conceal; what good 
could it do? 
For nought of these costly things with me can I take 
",-hen I go. 
Since then you are pleased to comlnand, I will all to 
you truly relate; 
For out it assuredly must; since, whether for evil or good, 
A secret so ,veighty indeed could not be nluch longer 
concealed; 
For the treasure was stolen, forsooth. With oaths had 
a nUlnber conspired 
To kill you, beneficent king, and if, at the very same hour, 
The treasure had not with prudence Leen moved, it 
thus had occurred. 
Take notice of this, gracious lord, for both your ,veIl.. 
being and life 
On the treasure's security hung; and, alas, the purloin.. 
ing thereof 
1Iade things lvith my father go hard; it led hÜn, in 
prime of his life, 
The last dreaùful journey to take; to eternal perdition, 
perhaps; 
But, merciful master, for you it all turned out for the 
best. 


Perplexedly listened the queen to all of this horrible tale, 
The intricate, furtive design for depriving her consort 
of life, 
The treason, the treasure, and aU that he had been tell.. 
ing about. 



7 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


I caution you, Reynard, she cried, reflect! for about to 
embark 
You are on the road to your home; repentant, dis- 
burden your soul; 
Set forth the unvarnished truth and plainly the murder 
make kno\vn. 
The king supplenlented her words: Strict silence let 
everyone keep! 
Come, Reynard, again here belo\v and step now up 
nearer to me, 
Whereby I may hear what you say, for the n1atter 
cOllcerneth IDJself. 


Reynard, who sa\v through it all, took courage agaIn, 
and the rounds 
Of the ladder he quickly ran down, to the malcontents' 
heav y chaarin . 
b , 
And hÜnself, váthout more ado, by the king and his 
consort he placed, 
Who earnestly tried to find out the meaning of all he 
had said. 
He then set himself to Inake up SOllie ne\v and aston- 
ishing lies. 
That I the good-\vill of the king and that of his con- 
sort, he thought, 
Again could secure; and oh, that nlY cunning at once 
would prevail, 
And render 111e able my foes, who me are conducting 
to death, 
Thenlsel yes to destruction to bring; this me from all 
peril would save. 
For me this would certainly be a blessing from out of 
the skies; 
But lies without measure, I see, to carry my purpose I 
need. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


77 


Impatiently then did the queen to ReYllard more ques- 
tions propound; 
Let us know, without any nlist.ake, of what the whole 
Blatter consists. 
The truth let us kno-w, your conscience respect, dis- 
bu rden your soul! 
Reynard responded thereto: I gladly will tell to 
you all. 
Death alone is awaiting tile no\v, and nothing can 
reilled y th
t. 
Should I, at the end of my life, n1Y soul overburden 
with lies, 
And eterual dall1nation incur, I should act as if out of 
nlY luinLl. · 
It is better for lne to confess; and if, to my sorrow, 
I In w
t 
1\1y cherished relations and friends arraign and put 
under a cloud, 
How can I help it, alas! At hand are the torinents of 
hell. 


Already the king, as he listened intently to what had 
been Raid, 
Full heavy at heart had becollle. He said: Are you 
telling the truth? 
To his 
Iajl-'\
ty Heyuard replied, with air for the pur- 
pose as
uIlled : 
1'111 an illfalIlOUS fel1o\v, I know, yet now am I speak- 
ing the truth, 
What good could I get by telling you lies? I should 
only Illyself 
Everlastingly dainn. You kno,v very well, for so it's 
resolved, 
I must die; I aill no\v looking death in the face and 
lie will I not; 



7 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


N either evil nor good to Ille now can be of the slightest 
a vail. 
He shook as he uttered these ,vords, and seemed on 
the verge of a s ,voou. 


The queen then con1passionate spake: I pity the 
anguish he feels; 
Deign kindly upon hin} to look, I beg you, lilY lord, 
and reflect; 
We both lllay be saveù froln luuch harn1 Ly this reve- 
lation of his. 
The sooner the better that ,ve the grouuù of his nar- 
rative fiuel ! 
Strict silence en force u pOll all, anù let hiIn straight- 
forwardly speak. 
Then issueù the king his co III luaud, and all the 
asseIubly was still; 
But Reynard uplifted his voice: If it please you, my 
gracious king, 
Pray listen to what I shall say. Although my narra- 
tion lnay chance 
Without any notes to be n1ade, yet exact you will find 
it and true; 
The details you'll learn of the plot, and no one intend 
I to spare. 



CANTO FIVE, 


No,v notice the cunning displayed, and see how the 
fox went to work 
To hide his offences once nlore, and harm unto others 
to do. 
Gratuitous lies he devised, yea, even his father de- 
famed 
On the further side of the grave; and the badger he 
grossly traduced, 
His loyallest friend, who had so persistently come to 
his aid. 
There \vas nothing he scrupled to say, by which his 
narration he thought 
He l1Üght plausible make; that on his accusers he 
vengeance might take. 


And this is the way he began: My father once had 
the good luck, 
Not very long since, the wealth of King Emmrich, the 
mighty, to find . 
In a secret place; yet to hi m was the hoard of but 
little avail. 
He gave himself airs on account of his wealth, esteem- 
ing no more 
The beasts of his own degree, and his comrades of 
fonner times 
Too lit.tle regarding by far; more notable friends he 
deRired. 
Tybert the cat he despatched to the wild hunting 
grounds of Ardennes, 
79 



80 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Bruin the bear to seek out, to w h0111 he should fealty 
swear, 
And sumlnon to Flanders forthwith, in order their 
king to become. 


When Bruin the \vriting had read, its import hiIll 
heartily pleased: . 
1Tntiring and bold he pursued his ,yay on t.o Flanders 
in haste, 
For \vith sornething like this had his nÜnd already for 
long been engaged. 
Arriving, he found IllY father Oll hand, \vho hailed hÍln 
with joy, 
And at Ollce off to Isengrin1 sent, and like\vise to Grin1- 
bart, the sage; 
The four put together t.heir heads, discussed RlId per- 
fected their plans, 
And not far a\vay \vas a fifth, namely Ty bert, the cat. 
N ear at hand 
Lay a village 'which Iste is cal1ed, and this \vas the 
actual place, 
A spot bet\veen Iste aDd Ghent, \vhere jointly the plot 
they discussed 
The whole of a long cloudy night, "Thich kept their 
a
sen1 hlage concealed. 
With God n1et they not, for nlY father, the devil more 
rightly to say, 
Them totally had in his po\ver, \vith his damnable 
treasure of gold. 
They resolved on the death of the king, and one to 
the other they s\vore 
An alliance eternal and firn1, and then did the five 
take their oath 
In conjunction on Isengrim's head, that unitedly they 
would select 



REYNARD THE FOX 


81 


Bruin the bear for their king; and at Aix-Ia-Chapelle, 
on the throne, 
\Vith aid of the golden crown, the realn1 to him firmly 
secure. 
This having been done, if by one of the king's rela- 
tions or friends 
Resistance thereto should be made, my father was hÜn 
to convince 
Or telnpt \vith a bribe; and, failing in that, to eject 
hÏ111 at Ollce. 
I happened to learn of the schelue, for Grimbart one 
nlorning hÌInself 
Fullillerrily drunken had got, and garrulous had becon1e. 
Thus ,vent the fool home to his wife and gave the 
\v11ole secret away; 
Then silence upon' her enjoined, thus thinking the 
l1latter to nlend. 
Very soon after this had occurred, my wife she en- 
countered, and her 
l\Iust she, by a sacred oath, in the regal trillity's name, 
Pledge on her honour and faith that, \vhether come 
evil or good, 
To no one a word would she tell; and then she made 
kno\vn to her all. 
In like manner too, has my wife as little her promise 
observed, 
For, soon as she found where I was, she told to 111e an 
she had heard; 
And gave me, Inoreover, a sign, whereby the full truth 
of the tale 
I with ease recognised; yet through it I've only rnore 
evil incurred. 
It reminded Ine well of the frogs, the continual croak- 
ing of \Vh0111 
Ascellded, at length, to the ears of our Lord in the 
hea vens above, 



82 


REYNARD THE FOX 


They, \visbing the rule of a king, were willing to Jive 
in restraint, 
After having their freedom enjuyeù ill all the dOlnains 
of the earth. 
Their petition was granted by God; he sent thenl as 
lllonarch the stork, 
'Vho steaJily hates and n1altreats and allO'ws thelIl no 
peace to enjoy. 
As a fiend he hin1self to therl1 bears; and wailing the 
fools are to-day, 
But ah, it's too late! The killg has thelU llO\V alto- 
gether subdued. 
I{eynard tu all of the cro\vd spoke at the top of his 
VOIce; 
All could well hear \vhat he saiò; and thus he con- 
tinued. his speech: 
ùbserve! l\ly fears \vere excited for all, lest so it 
should turn. 
Your highness, I looked out for you and h oped for a 
better re\vard. 
Of Bruin's intrigues 1'111 a\vare, anJ the villainous turn 
of his Ininù, 
As also his luany nlÌsdeeds; and tht' \vorst I provideù 
against. 
Should he becorne king, we all tu destruction together 
should go. 
Our king is of noble descent, and nJighty anù gracious 
he is, 
I privately thought; a mournful exchange indeed it 
would be, 
A dull, good-for-nothing, unprincipled bear to exalt in 
this \va y. 
I studied it 0 vel' for ,,"eeks, and tried th e whole plot to 
defeat. 
To n1e it was clear above all that, if in the hands of 
my SIre 



REYNARD THE FOX 


83 


The treasure continued to be, he then could large 
forces collect, 
Ând surely the gaine he \yould ,vin, while \ve of our 
king should ue shorD. 
My care was llO\V centreù 011 this: to search and dis- 
cover the spot 
Wherein \vas the treasure concealed, and steahhily 
take it a\yay. 
Should lllY father run off to the field, or the crafty old 
fello\v devart 
To the forest, by day or by night, in frost or in tropical 
heat, 
III sunshine or rain, I was ahvays behind and tracking 
his steps. 


Once as I lay in the earth hidden with care and with 
thoughts 
Of ho\v I the treasure could find, so Jlluch about \vhich 
I had learned, 
Then and there I nlY father espied, as out of a cranny 
he stole ; 

\lnoIlg the stones he advanceù, and up froin below he 
enlerged. 
I n silence I kept nlyself hid; he thought he \vas all 
by hin1self, 
Scanned the 'whole field of his view and then, as he 
no one perceived, 
In the distance or near, his ganle he began, and )- ou 
shall it learn. 
A,gain he put sand in the hole, and ski1fully n1ade it 
agree 
In level and looks \vith the rest of the ground. No 
one, who had not 
Seen it done, could possibly kno\v it was there. And 
step after step 



84 


REYNARD THE FOX 


As he went, he saw that the spot upon which he had 
planted his feet 
Should over and over again be thoroughly brushed 
with his tail; 
And then did a\vay with his trail by raking about with 
his mouth. 
In this my first lesson I took froln my wily old father 
that day, 
Who versatile was in dodges and tricks and pranks of 
all kin ds. 
This having been done, he hurried a way to his task, 
and I thought 
The princely treasure, perhaps, n1ay be in the neighbour- 
hood kept. 
I quickly stepped up to the place, and pronlptly 
proceeded to work; 
And the rift, in a very short time, I managed to pierce 
with my paws. 
Then crept I impatiently in, and heaps uf things price- 
less I found, 
Of the finest of silver a store and gold that was red; 
of a truth 
Has never the oldest one here his eyes such a hoard 
laid upon. 
Myself I.now set to my task with the aid of my wife; 
we dra o'O'ed 
00 
And we carried by day and by night; we had neither 
barrow nor cart; 
Much labour it therefore entailed and Dlany an hour of 
fatigue. 
Faithfully held Dame Ermelyn out, and we managed 
at length 
To get a.ll the jewels in safety a way and conveyed 
to a place 
That to us more suitable seemed. Meanwhile kept my 
father himself 



REYNARD THE FOX 


85 


Daily in contact \vith those who our king \vere In 
league to Letray. 
N O\V what they resolved you shall hear and greatly 
amazed you \vill be. 


Straight Bruin and Isengrim sent to many departrnents 
and lauds 
Patents the hirelings to call, who were ordered in 
nUIl1bers to corne 
And prolnptly themselves to report; then Bruin their 
posts \vauld assign, 
And even indulgently give the fello\vs their pay in 
advance. 
1\Iy father then traversed the lands displaying the 
letters he had, 
Sure of his treasure that still, he thought, in its hiding- 
place lay. 
But now it had so come about that, if he, \vith all of 
his friends, 
I-Iad ever so thoroughly searched, they \vonld not 
a penny have found. 
For him was no labour too great, and nin1bly his \vay 
he pursued 
Through every land to be found bet\veen the Elbe and 
the Rhine. 
J\fany hirelings he'd already found, and many another 
he gained, 
For money waR able to lend an emphasis strong to his 
words. 


At length did the SUlnmer arrIve, and now did my 
father return 
To his fellow conspirators back. Then had he of 
sorrows and want 



86 


REYNARD THE FOX 


A nd terrible woes to relate, especially how he almost 
His life down in Saxony lost, as anlong the castles he 
roamed, 
vVhere huntsnlen with horses and hounds him daily 
pursued, insonHlch 
That barely Iliade he his escape, and then with his pelt 
scarcely whole. 


Arriving, he joyfully showed the four arch-traitors the 
list 
Of the cOllnades that he had secured by means of his 
pledges and gold. 
Bruin rejoiced at the news, as the five in conjunction 
it read. 
Its import was this: T\velve hundred of Isengrim's 
relatives bold, 
With ravenous nlouths and sharp-set teeth in their 
heads, \vere to come, 
And the cats and the bears besides were all for Sir 
Bruin assured. 
The gluttons and badgers as well, Thuringian and 
Saxon, woulrl come; 
Collected, ho\vever, they were on this understanding 
alone, 
That pay for a month In advance should be had. 
Then all in return 
Forward \vould conle in their might as soon as 
command was received. 
God be eternally thanked that I on their schemes shut 
the door. 


N O\V, after my father had seen to all that demanded 
his care, 
He hurried R\yay to the fields, to look on the treasure 
once more; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


87 


Then first his affliction began, he burrowed and sought 
and explored, 
Yet the longer he scraped the less he could find. Of 
DO earthly use 
Was the trouble he took on himself and his inconso- 
lable grief, 
For the treasure was no\v far away, 'twas nowhere at 
all to be found. 
And then, out of anger and shame - ho\v horribly 
plagues Ille the thought, 
By day as well as by night-IllY father himself \vent 
and hanged. 


...\11 this was accomplished by Ine, the infamous deed 
to prevent; 
...\..nd now nle but evil it brings, yet I do not repent 
\v hat I did. 
But the covetous Bruin and Isengrim have, by the side 
of the king, 
Their seats in his council assigned. And Reynard, 
poor fellow, how thon 
Art thanked in the opposite \vay for having, the king 
to preserve, 
Thine own loving father destroyed! vVhere else is 
there one to be found, 
\Yho ruin ,vould bring on himself, just lllerely your 
life to prolong? 


1Ieanwhile had the king and the queen their hands on 
the treasure to get 
The greatest cupidity felt; aside they withdrew and 
the fox 
Invited to them, in private to talk, and hastily 
said: 



88 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Speak 1 Where have you this wealth! That is the 
thing we would kno\v. 
Reynard then said in reply: To me of what use would 
it be, 
To sho\v the magnificent goods to the king, who me 
has condelnned ? 
Too much he confides in lilY foes, the vicious assassins 
and thieves, 
Who Cll m bel' hiIn do,vn with their lies, in order my 
life to obtai ll. 
No, no 1 interjected the queen, thus shall it not come 
to pass ! 
l\Iy lord will accord you your life, and all t.hat is past 
will forai ve . 
b , 
He \vill harbour his anger no more. In future, how- 
ever, you must 
More prudence display, and loyal and true remain to 
the king. 


Reynard said: My lady and queen, if you with the 
king can prevail, 
His troth in your presence to give that he ,vill me par- 
don once more, 
That he all my crimes and misdeeds, and all the re- 
sentment that I 
In hin} have unhappily roused, will for ever efface from 
his nlind, 
You then may rest fully assured no king of our time 
shall possess 
Such vastness of wealth as shall he, through my fidel- 
ity, gain. 
The treasure is great; when I sho\v you the place, 
surprised you will be. 
Confiùe in hÌln not, said the king, it is ollly when he 
of his thefts, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


89 


His lies, and his roLLeries tells, that one can hiln thor- 
oughly trust; 
Eor a greater liar than he has certainly never drawn 
breath, 


To this said the queen in reply: It is true that his life 
hitherto 
Hath little of confidence earned; at present, however, 
reflect 
That his uncle, the badger himself, and. his own loving 
father as ,veIl, 
This tinle he has called to account, and n1ade their 
iniquities kllo,vn. 
If so he desired he could let them alone, and of differ- 
ent beasts 
These stories of his could relate: he would not so 
stupiùly lie. 


Is that your idea? responded the king; if you think 
it may turn 
In reality out for the best, so that evil still greater 
may not 
Therefroll1 be derived, I \vill do as you say, and these 
cri n1Ïnal acts 
Of Reynard will take on lrJyself, with all his nefarious 
deeds. 
I will trust him this once, but never again, let him 
bear that in Inind! 
To him on my crown I will swear an inflexible oath, 
that, if he, 
In future, shall lie or transgress, he shall it for ever 
repent, 
And that all who to him are of kin, be it only the 
tenth degree, 



go 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Shall atone it whoever they are, and none from my 
wrath shall escape; 
With evil and sharne shall they nleet and ruthless pur- 
suit of the law. 


When finally Reynard beheld how quickly the mind 
of the king 
Was changing, he nlustered up courage and said: 
Would I like a fool 
Myself, gracious monarch, conduct and stories presume 
to relate, 
Whose truthfulness cannot be sho\vn in a very fe,v 
days, at the most 1 


The king then believed what he said and pardon he 
granted for all ; 
His father's high treason the first, and then Reynard's 
own evil ùeeds; 
And the latter \vas no\v over\vheln1Ïngly pleased. At 
an opportune time 
\Vas he from the nlight of his foes and his own 
'wretched destiny freed. 
l\fost noble of Inonarchs and lords, Reynard began then 
to say, 
l\lay God, in his mercy, reward both you and your 
consort for all 
That you unto nle, the unworthy, have done; I will 
keep it in nÜnù, 
Anù, long as eternity lasts, will IllY gratitude constantly 
sho'w. 
In all the dOlninions and states of the earth there 
assuredly lives 
Not a pen30l1 now under the sun, to 'W'hOIll this Inag- 
nificent \vealth 
I would rather transfer than just to you t\vo. \Vhat is 
there of grace 



REYNARD THE FOX 


9 1 


That I, at your hands, have not had 1 For that will I 
'willingly give 
King EUlluerich's treasure to you, exactly as he it 
possessed. 
I now \"ill explain where it is, and truth I will hon"' 
estly speak. 


Attend! To the eastward of Flanders a desert exists, 
and in that 
Lies a thicket alone, \vhich is Hüsterlo called, take 
note of the nanle 1 
Beyond is a spring that is l{rekelborn nalned; now 
bear you in rnind 
That not far apart are the t\vo. ,\Yithin this vicinity 
C01l1es 
Not a 'V0111an or n1an, frOlll beginning to end of the 
year. Here aùides 
N ought hut the bat and the o\vl, and here I the 
treasure concealed. 
....-\..s l{rekelborn kno\vn is the place; this note and 
lllake use of the sign. 
'Vith only your consort proceed to the place, for there 
certainly is 
Not a soul that's sufficiently safe to send as a messenger 
there, 
And very great harln \vould result; I could not it 
dare to advise. 
Alone you must go to the spot. 'Vhen Krekelborn 
you shall have passed, 
You t\VO little birches will see; and one, now attend, 
will be f ou lld 
Not very far off frorn the brook; thus, gracious king, 
you will go 
Unhindered and straight to the trees; beneath thmn 
the treasures lie hiù. 



9 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


You need only burrow and scrape; first moss you will 
find at the roots, 
And then you'll discover at once the richest and costliest 
gems, 
In gold lllost artistic and fine, and also King Emmerich's 
cro "vn. 
If Bruin had had his desire, then he would be wearing 
it now. 
Decorations in nun1ber you'll find and jewels of bril- 
liance and \vorth, 
And trinkets of gold, which now are not IDade, for 'who 
could thelll buy? 
This wealth \vhen you see, gracious king, as there all 
togethel: it lies, 
Of one thing indeed I am sure, in thought you \vill 
honour IDe then. 
Reynard, you honest old fox, you will think, \vho so 
prudently hid 
These treasures up under the moss, prosperity always 
be thine, 
In what place soever thou art 1 Thus did the hypocrite 
speak. 


To this said the king in reply: You lllUst me attend 
when I go, 
For how, if alone, shall I light on the spot? Of Aix.. 
la-Chapelle, 
Without any doubt, I have heard, and London and 
Paris as well, 
And Cologne; but Hüsterlo's name I never once heard 
in my life, 
And of Krekelborn too may the same be observed; 
n1ust then I not fear 
That lies you are telling again and coining these names 
in your head 1 



REYNARD THE FOX 


93 


Unhappy ,vas Reynard to hear the circumspect words 
of the king, 
And he said: Where I you direct is not so far off as 
if you 
'Vere told at the Jordan to seek. vVhy look at me 
still ,,'ith distrust? 
To \vhat I have said I adhere, that all can in Flanders 
be found. 
Let us ask SOHle of these; another, perhaps, may 
endorse what I say. 
Krekelborn! Hüsterlo! Thus did I say, and these 
are their nalnes. 
And then he called out to the hare, but Lalnpen in 
terror held back. 
Then Reynard exclaiIned: Come, don't be afraid! 
The king only asks 
That you, by the oath of allegiance you recently took, 
\vill tell 
HinI nought but the truth; so out with it now, pro- 
vided you know, 
And say, where does Hüsterlo stand and Krekelborn 
too 1 Let us bear. 


Lampen said: That can I easily tell. In the desert 
they stand, 
The one from the other not far. The inhabitants 
Hüsterlo call 
That thicket where bandy-legg'd Simonet long con.. 
tinued to dwell, 
Counterfeit Inoney to make, with his daring conlpanions 
In Cflme. 
Greatly at that very spot I suffered froIlI hunger and 
cold, 
When I from the bulldog Rhyn in direst distress had 
to fly. 



94 


REYNARD THE FOX 


At this Reynard said to the hare: To the others again 
you n1ay go, 
Among then1 resuming your place; enough to the 
king you have told. 
The king then to Reynard remarked: Be not discon- 
tented \vith me,. 
Because I impatient have been and harboured a doubt 
of your word; 
But see to it now, without fail, that me you conduct to 
the place. 


Reynard spake: How happy lnyself I should prIze, 
were it fitting to-day 
For n1e to go forth with the king, and hiIn into Flau- 
deI's attend; 
But for you it would count as a sin. In spite of the 
shame that I feel, 
Yet out it must come, though gladly I'ù keep it st.ill 
longer concealed. 
Our Isengrim, some time ago, himself got ordained as a 
lllonk, 
Not at an that the Lord he might serve, his belly's the 
god he obeys; 
The convent he alUlost consumed; at eating he's 
reckoned as six, 
So all was for him not enough; he whined about 
hunger and grief. 
It Inoved me to pity at last, when I saw him so thin 
and unwell, 
And I faithfully gave him my help, for he's a near 
kinsn1an of mine. 
But I, for the aid that I gave, the ban of the Pope 
have incurred, 
And now, without any delay, I would, with your 
knowledge and leave, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


95 


Commune all alone with 111Y soul, and to-morro'w, at 
rise of tbe sun, 
For grace and indulgence to sue, would start as a 
pilgrim to Ron1e, 
And thence I would over the sea; and thus bring 
about that my sins 
Be from me all taken away; and should I come back 
to my home, 
I \vith honour may go at your side; if I did so, ho,v- 
ever, to-day, 
The world would ùe sure to renlal'k: IIo\v is it our 
IDonarch again 
With Reynard is seen, \Vh0111 not long ago to death he 
condemned, 
And who, in addition to that, is under the ùan of' the 
Pope! 
}Iy lord, you will certainly see, 'twere better to leave 
it undone. 
Responded the king: Very true, to me that of COUfse 
was unkno\vn. 
If you are proscribed by the Church, t.o take you 
would be a disgrace. 
Either Lampen or SOll1ebody else can aCC01l1pany 111e 
to the spring. 
But, Reynard, that you from the ban are trying to get 
your relE?ase, 
I look on as useful and good, and graciously give you 
my leave 
To-morrow betilnes to set out; I will not your pilgrin1- 
age stay. 
For seenlS it to me that you wish fron) evil to good to 
return. 

fay God your intention approve anò let you the 
journey cODlplete ! 



CANTO SIX. 


IN this way was Reynard again to favour received by 
the king. 
And no,v stepped his Majesty out to some rising 
ground that was near, 
And, speaking up there on a stone, he bade the as- 
semblage of beasts 
I{eep silence, and down in the grass, according to birth 
and degree, 
To settle thenlselves; and Reynard stood u.p by the 
side of the queen. 


. 


The king, overlooking the crowd, began with much 
caution to speak: 
Be silent and hearken to me, ye birds and ye beasts 
who are here, 
Alike both the rich and the poor; yea, hearken, ye 
great and ye small. 
My lords and acquaintances all, of household as well 
as of court, 
l
eynard is here in my power; you were thinking, a 
short time ago, 
He ought to be hanged, but now such a nUlllber of 
secrets at court 
He's revealed, that hÜn I believe, and advisably Inercy 
to hÏ1n 
. Again I vouchsafe. In addition to this has my con- 
sort, the queen, 


9 6 



REYNARD THE FOX 


97 


With earnestness pleaded for hÏ111, and I in his favour 
alll luoved, 
Forgiveness have fully bestowed, and on hinl his goods 
and his life 
Have freely conferred; hencefor\vard my peace him 
shields an d protects. 
N ow all ,vho together are here, are ordered, so long as 
you live, , 
That Reynard, his children and \vife, you honour shall 
every\vhere sho\v, 
Wherever, by day or by night, you chance them in 
future to !lleet; 
J\Ioreover, of Reynard's affairs no further complaint 
,viII I hear. 
If he any evil has done, that belongs to the past; and 
his ways 
He 'v ill lHend, as indeed he's begun, for early to- 
InOITOW he takes 
His staff and his knapsack to go as a reverent pilgrim 
to R0111e, 
And thence \vill he over the sea; and never again 'will 
co !lIe back 
Until he relnission complete of all his misdeeds has 
obtained. 


Now Tybert, with rage, upon this to Bruin and Isen- 
grim turned; 
Our trouble and pains are now lost, he exclainled. I 
would that were I 

--'ar fronl here! If Reynard has been once again into 
favour received, 
i
ll arts that he kno,vs he will use to bring us all 
three to an enù. 
..t\..lready one eye have I lost, and no,v for the other I. 
fear! 



9 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Good counsel is dear, responded the bear, that is plain 
to be seen. 
Then Isengrim said in return: The thing is so queer 
that it's best 
To go straight away to the king. \Yith Bruin he 
sullenly \valked 
At once to the king and the queen; and Reynard 
severely denounced, 
\Vith pungency speaking and loud. The king inter- 
rupted them thus: 
You surely could hear what I said? rye him newly 
to favour received. 
The king uttered this in a rage, and had in a twinkling 
the two 
Captured, ilnprisoned, and bound; for well he remem- 
bered the ,vords 
That he from Reynard had heard concerning their 
traitorous acts. 


Thus in the space of an hour had lnatters with Rey- 
nard becom e 
Most thoroughly changed. Himself he'd got free, and 
into disgrace 
His accusers had COllIe; he even kne\v how, in hiR 
spite, to procure 
That off froln the back of the bear a piece of his hide 
should he cut, 
A foot in its length and its width, that a wallet for 
hinl on the road 
Proviùed might be; so seemed as a pilgrim but little 
to want; 
But still he entreated the queen to furnish him :also 
with shoes, 
And said: Gracious lady, you own that I am your 
pilgrim just no,v, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


99 


Then give me )Tour help, I implore, that I lllay nlY 
journey complete. 
N O\V four useful shoes has the wolf; it surely were 
nothing but just 
That he \vith a pair should dispense, for nle on my 
journey to wear; 
These get, gracious lady, for me, by n1eans of his lord- 
ship, the king. 
Dame Greedimund also could spare a couple of hers 
for my use, 
For she, as a house\vife, is forced to live almost wholly 
indoors. 


This claim was regarded as just by the queen. They 
assuredly can 
Each of them part with a pair, she graciously said in 
reply. 
Reynard was thankful for this, and said wit,h a rap- 
turous bow : 
If four solid shoes I acquire, I will surely no longer 
delay. 
All the good that I presently may, as a pilgrim, be able 
to do, 
You surely shall equally share, both you and our n1er- 
ciful king. 
On a pilgrimage \ve are compelled to nlake supplica- 
tion for all 
Who us have in any way helped. l\lay God then 
your goodness reward! 


Thus did Sir Isengrim have from his two front paws to 
resIgn, 
Far up as his ankles, his shoes; and then a like fate 
must his wife, 
Dame Greedimund, also endure, for she had her hind 
ones to lose. 



100 


REYNARD THE FOX 


In this manner both had to lose the skin and the 
claws of their feet, 
And together with Bruin they lay, mournfully waiting 
for death ; 
But the hypocrite, having obtained the \vallet and 
shoes as desired, 
Went hither and flaunted his jeers; at Greedinlund 
worse than the rest. 
My love, nlY own darling, he said, just give but a 
glance and observe 
How splendidly fit me your shoes; I hope that they 
also will ,year. 
Great effort already you've made, my ruin, perchance, 
to achieve, 
But I too have exerted Inyself, and my labour has met 
with success. 
If you your enjoyment have had, so my turn at length 
it is now; 
But this is the uniforUl rule, and one must learn how 
to su Lll1Ît. 
As now I proceed on nlY road, my cherished relations 
I can 
Remember \vith thanks. You Ine have a present of 
shoes kindly Inade, 
A deed you shall never regret; whatever indulgence 
I gain 
You surely shall share when I fetch it from Rome and 
over the sea. 


Dame Greedimund lay in such pain, that scarcely the 
strength she retained 
To utter a word, yet roused herself up and said with a 
groan: 
In order to punish our sins, God allows all with you to 
succeed. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


101 


Still Isengrim said not a word, but together with Bruin 
lay still; 
They both \vere unhappy enough, in bonùage and 
covered with wounds, 
And no\v set at nought by their foe. Tybert, the cat, 
was not there, 
And Reynard was anxious enough to put him in hot 
water as well. 


The bypocrite busied himself, at morn of the following 
day, 
In rubbing with tallow and oil the shoes that his kins- 
men had lost; 
And now, making haste to present himself to the king, 
be observed: 
Your dutiful servant's prepared on his sacred nússiOll 
to start; 
Pray no\v of your n1ercy command the priest of your 
Majesty's court, 
A blessing on me to bestow, that I full of hope may 
depart; 
And thus approbation divine on my going and con1Ïng 
secure. 
The ram by the monarch had been his imperial chap- 
lain ordained, 
He also had charge of religious affairs, he too by the 
kina 
o 
Was used as a scribe, anù Dellyn was nalned. Then 
had he him calleù 
And said: I desire that at once a few holy \vords 
shall be read 
Over Reynard a waiting you here, him no\v on the 
journey to bless, 
That he has in vie,v; he is going to Rome and the 
water will cross; 



102 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The wallet upon hinl suspenù, and give hinl the staff 
in his hand. 
And thereupon Bellyn replied : You have, my lord 
king, I presume, 
Discovered that Reynard, as yet, has not been released 
fro In the ban; 
Should only I do as you \vish, I should wrath from 
nlY bishop incur, 
- Who about it would easily lèarn, and nle to chastise 
has the po\ver. 
To lleYllarù inùeed '\vill I (10 not a thing, either evil or 
good; 
If settled the Blatter conlLl be, all(l certainly \vouId not 
thereto 
The bishop, Lord Lackland, object; or possibly angry 
thereat, 
The provost, 
ir \Vanton, becolne, or inùeed Rapianlus 
the deau, 
l\Iy blessing I gladly 'would give, as llO\V I an} ordered 
by you. 


And thus respollde<1 the king: \Vhat Ineal1 these 
evasions anù shifts? 
Many \vords you cOlnpel us to hear, but back is there 
little enough. 
If you over H.eynard will read not a thing either evil or 
good, 
The devil I'll ask it to do. \Vhat's church or the 
bishop to Ille ? 
Reynard would journey to Rome! Of that would you 
stand j 11 the way? 
With anxiety Bellyn hegan to scratch at the back of 
his ears ; 
He feared the ill- \vill of his king, and over the pilgrim 
at once 



REyr-.,ARD THE FOX 


10 3 


To read from the hook he began, but Reynard did 
little attend. 
Yet all it coulù give was recei veù: of that not a doubt 
can exist. 


,A,nd no,v was the benison read, delivered the ,vallet 
and stafl', 
...\.l1d thus for his counterfeit trip the pilgrÜn ,vas fully 
equipped. 
ShaIn tears were now runuing ÙO\Vll the cheeks of the 
rascally scaulp 

\lld ,vetting his bef1rd, as if he \vere feeling the ùeep- 
est regret. 
ADd truly it ditl giye hinl pain, that all of his foes he 
had not 
Together brought evil upon, lmt only these three had 
disgra eeù. 
Yet there stood he up alllI Í111plorcd that earnestly all 
of thenl \vould, 
.r\s ,veIl as they couhl, for hinl pray. ...A.nd no-w prepa- 
ration he luade 
To hurry a,vay, for he felt hitnself guilty and hence 
,vas in fear. 
Reynard, delnanded the kiug, why are you making such 
haste? 
\Vho begins \vhat is good should never delay, said 
]{eY1l3 I'd to this; 
A furlough I beg of you now, for the right and appro- 
priate tÏ111e 
Ha
 come, if your Majesty please, so let 111e the journey 
begin. 
The furlough is yours, responded the king; he also en- 
joined 
In a body the'lords of the court \vith the spurious pil- 
grim to go, 



10 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And wait on a stretch of the way. In the meantime 
in prison remained 
Poor Bruin and Isengrim both, lamenting their pain 
and disgrace. 


In this way had Reynard again of the love and esteem 
of the king 
Come into possession complete; he went in great 
honour from court, 
And seemed, \vith his wallet and staff, to be off to the 
tOIll b of our Lord; 
Having there just as little to do as a May-pole in Aix- 
la-Cha pelle. 
But otherwise far was his ain}. He had made a 
successful attenlpt, 
With a :flaxen beard and a waxen nose, whatever by 
that Inay be meant, 
His monarch completely to hoax; and all his accusers 
were forced 
To follow him now as he went, and him with respect to 
attend. 
But he could not relinquish his tricks, and said, upon 
taking his leave : 
My lord, be you well on your guard, that now the t\VO 
renegades there 
Do not have a chance to escape, but keep them in 
prison well bound; 
Desist they \vould n()t, if at large, frolll shameful and 
treacherous deeds. 
Pray do not forget, noble king, that your life would in 
jeopardy be. 


So went he along on his road, w.ith countenance calm 
and devout, 
With guise unaffected and grave, as if any other were 
strange. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


10 5 


At this did the lllonarch again himself to his palace 
betake, 
And followed him all of the beasts. Obeying the order 
he gave, 
They Reynard attended no more than a very short 
distance a\vay. 
And carry hinlself did the scamp in a manner so joy- 
less and sad, 
That many a good-natured man to pity had found hinl- 
self 1110veJ ; 
And Larnpen the hare \vas especially grieved. 
\re \ve 
na\v conl pelled, 
Dear Lainpen, the villain remarked, to Lid to each other 
adien ? 
I \vonld that your pleasure it \vere, you and dear Bellyn 
the nUll, 
To travel with Ine on Iny road a little bit further 
to-day ! 
By doirig so you \vouid confer the greatest of favours 
on In e, 
For pleasant C0111paDions you are, and good honest 
people withal; 
Of you only good is e'er said, and honour to IDe \vould 
it bring. . 
Yon are saintly anù nIoral of life, and live just pre- 
cisely the sanle 
As I, when a hermit, did live; content are you ever 
\'lith herbs, 
Are wonted with grasses and leaves your hunger to 
still, and you ask 
Not either for bread or for meat, or other things special 
to eat. 
Thus was he able \vith praise the t\VO little weaklings 
to fool; 
...
nd both \vent together with him, till up to his dwell- 
ing they ca Ule 



106 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Anù sa,v 1\1alepartus the fort, and Reynard ren1arked 
to the ran1 : 
You, Bellyn, outside here remain; the herbs and the 
grasses you can 
Here relish as much as you please; these mountainous 
regions produce 
Vegetation abundant and rare, whoiesoille and goud to 
the taste. 
Within I'll take Lan1pen váth nle; no\v beg hÜn, I 
pray, to console 
1\fy wife, ,vho in sadness is plunged, aDù ,vho, upon 
con1Ïng to find 
That I, as a pilgri 111 , am going to Rome, ,vill be in 
despair. 
Sweet words brought the fox into use, in order the 
t,vo to deceive. 
Lanlpen then led he \vithin, and found his discollsolate 
,vife 
There lying \vith both of her cubs, \vith grief in excess 
overconle. 
For hope she had quite given up that Reynard ,,
ould 
ever again 
Return fro III the 
ourt, and no\v she hi In saw \vith 
wallet and staff', 
vVhich alnlost 111Ïraculous seen1ed. She said to hirn: 
Reinhart, IllY dear, 
Pray tell 1ne, hovv fared it with you, and "'hat have 
you had to go through? 
And he said: 1 guilty ,vas found, and even imprisoned 
and bound, 
But lllerciful turned out the king, and again, after all, 
set III e free; 
And I, as a pilgrim, came off, leaving behind as my 
bail 
Bruin and IsengriIu both. Thereafter the king, of his 
grace, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


10 7 


For atonement, gave Lanlpen to- me; to do with bin1 
just as we \vill. 
For thus said the king at the last, in the justice of his 
decree: 
Lampen it was who made the complaint; thus truly 
has he 
Infinite punishment earned, and no\v shall he answer 
for all. 
Lalnpen was struck \vith dismay at the menacing 
words of the fox, 
And, puzzled, himself tried to save by hurrying out of 
the house. 
Reynard blocked up his way to the door, and quickly 
the 11lurderer seized 
The poor \vretched thing by the throat, \vho, loud and 
\vith horror, for help 
Cried: Help HIe, 0 Bellyn, or I aIll undone! The 
pilgriul, indeed, 
Is murdering me! His cry was, ho\vever, not long; 
for his throat 
Had Reynard apace bitten through. And thus he 
en treated his guest. 
Come now, he exc1ainled, and let us eat fast, for fat is 
the hare, 
And good to the taste. At present, indeed, for the 
very first time, . 
Is he of some. use, silly fool! I promised hin1 this 
long ago. 
But no\v it is past, and now may the traitor his charges 
produce. 
Then Reynard at once set to \vork with his children 
and ",'ife, and they tore, 
Full quickly, the skin from the hare, and an excellent 
dinn er en j ayed. 
To the vixen delicious it \vas, and again and again she 
exclai nled : 



108 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Thanks to the king and the queen, by 'whose conde- 
scension we have 
Obtained this Inagnificent feast. May God them re- 
ward for the deed! 
Keep eating, said Reyna.rd to her, enough for the pres- 
ent is tbat ; 
To-day let us all have our fill; much more I'm expect- 
ing to get, 
For all, at the last, shall be forced to fully adjust their 
accounts, 
Who Reynard presume to accost, with intention of 
doing him harm. 


Ðanle Ernlelyn said upon this: How was it you came, 
I would ask, 
To get yourself out of their hands? Thereto he re- 
plied: l\lany hours 
I should need, were I to relate with how lDuch adroit- 
ness the king 
I twisted about as I would, and him and his consort 
befooled. 
I win not between us deny that slender indeed is the 
love 
That exists between me and the king, and not very 
long to endure. 
When he the \vhole truth ascertains, he fiercely indig- 
nant \vill be; 
If he get lDe again in his power, nor silver nor gold 
will avail 
1\1e to save; he certainly will me pursue and try to 
arrest. 
I then can no Dlercy expect, that know I as well as 
can be; 
U nhanged ",
ill he not let me go, so let us get out of 
his way. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


10 9 


Let us flee to the S\vabjan hills, there is nobody know- 
in a us there' 
o , 
vVe'l1 walk in the \vays of the land, and find, if but 
God give us help, 
A plenty of sa VOUl'Y food and abundance of all that is 
good. 
Chickens and geese, and rabbits and hares, and sugar 
and dates, 
And 
gs and raisins and birds of every species and 
SIze ; 
And there all the bread that is used is seasoneJ with 
butter and eggs. 
The water is lirnpid and pure, the air is delightful and 
clear; 
Of fish can a plenty be caught, entft1ed Galline, while 
some, 
Pullus and Gallus and Anas are called; who can them 
all nan)e ? 
These fish J enjoy very much; and even to catch them 
one need 
Very d
ep in the water not plunge; I always them 
gr
atly en joy. 
'\Vhen there I would pass for a n1onk. Yes, dear little 
wife, if \ve \vish 
At last to be free, \ve must hence, for you must accom- 
. pany IDe. 


N ow understand well \vhat I say! The king has per- 
n1Ïtted HIe no\v 
To go free because of my lies concerning mysterious 
things. 
King Ennnerich's glorious hoard I prornised for him to 
procure, 
And said that it over at Krekelborn lay; if thither 
they go 



110 


REYNARD THE FOX 


To seek it, alas, they \vill find both one and the other 
not there! 
In vain váll they dig in the earth; and 10! when our 
monarch shall find 
HÏ1llself in this manner Leguiled, then frightful his 
fury will be. 
For what I invented as lies, Lefore I a-way from him 
got, 
You call think. .lTOl' nle of n truth next door to a 
han a il1O' it caIne. 
00' 
I \vas never in Litterer plight, )Jul' ever in greater dis- 
Inay; 
Indeed, I should never desire again in such danger 
to be. 
In short, let happen what Inay, lnyself I \vill never 
penn it 
To go any 1nore to the court, and thus to the power of 
the king 
:11 y life to surrender again; it needed the greatest of 
skill, 
:11y thulnb, by the sweat of my face, fron1 out of his 
lTIouth to extract. 
Then, troubled, Danle ErlTIelyn said: 'Vhat profit 
thereby shall \ve gain ? 
\V retched and strange shall we be in every country 
but this. 
Here all we can wish we possess. You lllaster reuiain 
of your serfs. 
And do you so terribly need new risks and adventures 
to seek ? 
Bemen1 bel' this truth: In order to follo,v the bird in 
the Lu sh, 
The bird in the hand to release is neither sagacious 
nor 'Vise. 
We here can live safely enough! Why, look at our 
citadel's strength! 



REYNARD THE FOX 


III 


If the king with his arn1Y belfaguer us here, or even 
resolve 
The road \vith his forces to hold, \ve still such a num- 
ber possess 
Of loopholes and passages bid, that \ve can in safety 
effect 
Our escape; but you kno\v it better than I, so \vhy do 
I speak ? 
For hÌ1n by rnain force to atten1pt to get us again in 
his hands, 
\V ork ,vithout nleasure ",
ill take, aDd troubles me not 
in the least. 
But for you to have taken a. Vo\V to leave Il1e for over 
the sea, 
That \vorries IDe much. It stuns me almost. \Vhat 
good could it do ? 


Dear \VOlnan, afflict yourself not, said Reynard to her 
in reply. 
Just listen to me and note \vhat I say: far better for- 
s\vorn 
Than of life to be shorn! Thus said to me once at 
confession a sage: 
An oath of conlpulsion is nought. Not a snap of the 
finger care J 
For any such trifle as that! I speak of the oath, 
understand. 
It then shall be done as you say, and I will continue 
at home. 
But little I have, of a truth, to look for in Rome, and 
if I 
l\Iyself by ten pledges had bound, I should never 
J erUSalelI1 see; 
I mean to remain with you here, as is certainly nlost 
to my mind; 



112 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Other places I do not regard as better than that which 
I have. 
If rnischief the king will l11e do, then calmly I must it 
a \vait ; 
He is strong and too 111ighty for me, yet possibly I 
nlay succeed 
In duping him yet once again, and slipping the harle- 
quin's cap 
Over his ears \vith its bells. He sball, if I live long 
enough, 
Find l11atters far worse than he 'wants; of that I will 
give him my oath. 


Impatiently Bellyn began to grulnble outside of the 
door : 
Do you, Larnpen, not mean to depart? 'Come now 
and let us be gone! 
His call Reynard heard and hurried outside, and there 
to him said: . 
J\fy dear, Lalllpen earnestly begs that you \vill accept 
his regrets, 
He is happy \vithin with his aunt, and thinks you will 
not grudge him that. 
Go on very slo,v}y ahead, for his aunt, l\fistress 
Erillelyn, will not, 
This instant, pern1Ït him to leave; their pleasure you 
would not disturb. 


Then Bellyn responded in turn: An outcry I heard; 

'hat was that? 
Lampen I heard; anrl he called to l11e: Help! 0 
Bellyn, COine help! 
Have you a uy harm to him done? Then Reynard 
judiciously said: 



REYNARD THE FOX 


113 


Do not misconceive 'what I say; I spoke of the 
journey I've vo\ved, 
A.nd then \vas ll1Y wife overcome, it seeIlled she \vas 
ready to faint; 
There befell her a deathly affright, as if in a swoon 
she appeared. 
Now Lalllpen this saw with alarn1, and, in his dis- 
traction, he cried: 
Come help IDe, 0 Bellyn, I beg! Oh, tarry not long 
frOBJ 111 y aid! 
1\ly aunt \vill never, I'm sure, again to me living come 
back. 
So far as I know, n'ellyn said, it "'
as terror that 111ade 
hinl call out. 
Not a hair. of bis body is burt, protested the villain 
with oaths; 
I \vould very nluch rather that harm to me, than to 
Lampen, occur. 
Reynard then said: Did you hear? But yesterday 
bade me the king, 
As soon as I got to my home, him back in SaIne letters 
to send 
My notions of what should be done in certain im- 
portant affairs? 
Dear nephe\v, these take with you now, I have thenl 
all ready to send. 
Therein pretty things do I say, and give him most 
prudent advice. 
Lampen is fully content, I heard him with joy, as I 
left, 
Recalling to 111ind with his aunt events of the days 
long ago. 
How they prattled! As if they never could tire; they 
ate and they drank, 
And greatly each other enjoyed; meanwhile nlY 
ad vices I wrote. 



114 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Dear Reinhart, said Bellyn to this, you must the 
despatches be sure 
To safely protect; no pocket have I in ,vhich them to 
't put, . 
And should I break open the seal, with me very hard 
,vould it go. 
Reynard said: That I know ,veIl enough ho\v to do; 
the \vallet, I think, 
That Bruin gave me fronl his hide, is fitting exactly 
for that; 
It is thick and also it's tough; in that I'll the letters 
secure. 
The king, in return, will bestow a' special reward upon 
you; 
With honour receive you he will; thrice welcome to 
hÏ1n will you be. 

t\ll this believed Bellyn the ram. Then hastened the 
other again 
Back into the house; the ",allet he took and sprily 
stuck in 
The head of the nlassacred hare, and also bethought . 
hÜn of how 
He Bellyn could manage to keep from getting inside 
of the pouch. 


He said, as he came out again: Your neck hang the 
wallet around, 
And nothing, my nephew, permit to move you to make 
an atte mpt 
Within the Jespatches to look; such prying would be 
a disgrace. 
With care have I fastened them up, and thus you nlust 
let thenl relnain. 
Not even unfasten the bag; I heedful have been that 
the knot 



REYNARD THE FOX 


lIS 


Shall be skilfully tied, for such is my way In Impor- 
tant affairs 
That pass bet\veen me and tl1e king; and, should the 
king find that the thongs 
Are entw"ined in the usual \vay, it then will be granted 
that you 
His grace and his presents deserve, as a messenger 
\VhOn1 he can trust. 
"\Then once you put eyes on the king, if you in still 
hinher esteeln 
b 
By him \voulù in future be held, then let hilll Ünagine 
that you, 
Have me \vith discretion advised what I in the letters 
should put, 
..A,nd even in writing then1 helped; this profit and 
honour will bring. 
And Rellyn was mightily pleased, and bounded above 
frOIH the place , 
High up in the air \vith delight; ran hither and 
thither, and said: 
Reynard, my nephew and lord, I now that you love 
111e percel ve, 
And honour on n1e would bestow. Before all the lords 
of the court 
It 'will add very nluch to nlY fame, that I such trans- 
cendent ideas, 
In language so choice and refined, have composed; for 
I, in good truth, 
Know not, as do you, how to write, but they shall 
inlagine I do; 
And you have I only to thank. It truly turned out 
for nIY good 
That hither I tl'ayel1ed \vith you. Pray, tell me \vhat 
further you \vish! 
Is Lanlpen not going \vith 111e, no\v that 1'111 starting 
frolll here ? 



116 


REYNARD THE FOX 


No, coolly the villain replied, just no\v that inlpossible 
IS; . 
Yon slo\vly go on in advance, and he shall come after, 
as soon 
As I sonle 1110111erltous affairs to hiIn have entrusted 
and charged. 
God with you rernain, Bellyn said, I now \vill \valk on 
as you say. 
And he hastened a,vay froin the place, arriving at noon 
at the court. 


As on him the king cast his eyes, and also the wallet 
espied, 
He exclaimed: You Bellyn, pray whence do you conle ? 
And where is the fox? 
You carry his \vallet, I see, pray ,vhat is the Dleaning 
of that? 


Then Bellyn as follows replied: He begged nle, most 
gracious of kings, 
T\vo letters to you to convey, \vhich we had together 
conlposed. 
In these you will find some 11latters of \veight with 
acunlen discussed; 
And as to the contents indeed, therein IllY advice haR 
been sought; 
Here in the knapsack they are; the knots quite securely 
he tied. 


The monarch commanded, forthwith, that sUlllilloned 
the beaver should be, 
Who notary ,vas and scribe to the king, and Bockert 
\vas called; 
His uusiness it was to receive all letters of \veight and 
finesse, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


117 


,And decipher aloud to the king, as he 111any languages 
kne\v. 
And the king sent for Tybert as well, who also was 
present to be. 
'Vhell Bockert the knots had untied, \vith Tybert his 
cOlnrade to help, 
He dre\v froln the \vallet the- head of Lal11pen, the 
poor lllurdered hare, 
And cried \yith astonislnuent great: And this is a 
letter, indeed! 
It truly is queer! Who has it compiled? Who can 
it explain ? 
Lal11pen's head this undoubtedly is; mistake about that 
there is none. 


With horror were stricken the king and the queen; 
and then did the king 
Bend forward his head and exclaim: Oh, fox, that I 
had you again! 
The king and the queen were distressed, beyond any 
\vords to express. . 
Reynard on l11e has imposed! the monarch cried out. 
Oh, that I 
To his wicked and scandalous lies had not given heed 
as I did! 
Confounded appeared he to be, and also the beasts 
were perplexed. 


Lupardus, however, began, who was closely allied to 
the king: 
I cannot conceive, in good sooth, why you in such 
trouble should be, 
Nor either your consort the queen. Such notions away 
from you drive J 



lIB 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Take courage, or you may indeed be covered with 
shame before all. 
Are you not our ruler and lord? Then all who are 
here IllUst obey. 


On that score alone, said the king, you need not at all 
be amazed 
That I an) thus grieved to the heart. In duty, alas, I 
have failed! 
For Ule has the traitor induced, with shan18ful and 
scandalous tricks, 
To punish lny cOll)rades and friends. At present there 
lie in disgrace 
Bruin and I
engrÜ11 both; repent should J not froD1 
lilY heart ? 
No glory to Ine rloes it bring, that I to the best of the 
lords 
Of my court have so wickedly done, and then in the 
liar hÜllself 
So fully my trust have reposed, and so indiscreetly 
beha ved. 
I followed too quickly my wife, who suffered herself to 
be duped, 
And begged and entreated for him. Oh, had I but 
firmer remained! 
But now is repentance too late, and all admonition in 
vaIn. 


And thus diù Lupardus reply: Lord king, lend an ear 
to my prayer, 
And suffer no longer regret. The evil that's done can 
be squared. 
For atonement deliver the ranl at once to the wolves 
and the bear; 
Bellyn has frankly confessed, intrepidly too, that he 
gave 



REYNARD THE FOX 


119 


IIis counsel that Lanlpen should die. N ow let hinl 
pay for it back! 
.A,nd \ve, after that has been done, together for I{eynan1 
\vill Blake, 
And catch hinl if well it turn out; then can he quickly 
Le hanged. 
If pennitted to speak, he'll talk hÜnself free, and never 
\vill hang. 
I kno\v that the \volf and the bear can surely Le recon- 
ciled thus. 


This heard \vith nluch pleasure the king, ánd unto 
Lupardus he said: 
Your counsel is grateful to me; so IlO\V \vith despatch 
go and fetch 
Both of the barons to me, and they shall 'with honour again 
,\Yith 111e in 111)'" council have seats. And see that the 
aninlals all 
III a body together be called, \vho here at the court 
Ula)" have Leen. 
They all shall be tIuly informed how ReynarLl hath 
shanlefully lied) 
Ho\v out of nlY hauds he escaped, and Lanlpell 'with 
Bellyn's aid slew; 
i\.l1d all shall the \volf and the bear \vith due venera- 
tion receive. 
So [, for anlends, give up to lilY lords, as you have advised) 
Bellyn, the traitor, and all his relatiolls for tÜne with- 
out end. 


I.Jupardus no rest himself gave till he had the pnson- 
ers both, 
Bruin and Isengrim, found; they then were set free, 
and he said: 
Consolation accept at nlY hands! I bring you our 
prince's good-will, 



120 


. REYNARD THE FOX 


And also free convoy from here. I wish to inform 
you, lny lords, 
That his 
lajesty suffers regret if harm upon you he 
has brought. 
lIe bids nle assure you of this, and 'wishes to satisfy both. 
To expiate 'what has been done, you Bellyn, with all 
of his race, 
Yea, everyone of his kin, for ever shall have as your 
own. 
Attack thenl without more ado, be it either in forest 
or field 
That on theln you happen to come; they are all of 
them given to you. 
And still, in addition to thiR, our rnonarch has deigned 
to penn it 
That Iteynal'd, \yho you has deceived, you nlay in all 
lnanners despoil; 
And hilI}, \vith his offspring and wife, and all of his 
kindred as \vell, 
'\Vherever they be, nlay pursue, and none shall \vith 
you interfere. 
This freedol1l so dear I proclaÜn in the narne of our 
lnaster the king; 
He, and all \vho 111ay after hirl1 rule, these rights will 
respect and uphold. 
You no\v have to only forget the \vorries you've had 
to enùure, 
And swear to hiln service and truth, and this you with 
honour can do. 
Re never \vill harm you again; I advise you the offer 
to grasp. 


Thus was atonement decreed; and by it the ram was 
cOlIlpelled 
To pay the account with his life; and all of his kin- 
dred and kind 



REYNARD THE FOX 


121 


Have, down to this day, been pursued by Isengrim's 
vigorous stock. 
Thus the hate everlasting began. Even now con- 
tinue the wolves, 
'Yithout any shyness or shame, the lambs anù the 
sheep to revile, 
And bave not the shade of a doubt that justice is 
,vbolly ,,,ith thenl ; 
Nothing assuages their wrath, and placated they never 
can be. 
But for Bruin and Isengrinl's sake, in order theIll hon- 
our to pay, 
The king had proceedings at court prolongeù for t\velve 
days, as he wished 
To openly show how eager he ,vas these lords to ap- 
pease. 



CANTO SEVEN. 


AND now was the court to be seen In splendour 
adorned and prepared; 
l\Iany knights were arriving thereat, and the beast
, 
,vhu together bad come, 
vVere follo,ved by nun1berless birds; high honour did 
all in one breath 
To Bruin and Isengrin1 give, 'who began their mishaps 
to forget. 
There festively sported itself the granClest assenlbly by 
far, 
That ever together ",-as brought; trumpets and kettIe- 
drull1s clanged, 
The stately dance of the court was started with diglli- 
fled grace, 
And abundance was furnished for all of 'whatever by 
each could be ,vished. 
Herald on herald was sent through the land to SUlll- 
mon the guests, 
The birds and the beasts nlade ready tbemselveR and 
in couples arrived. 
They travelled by day and by night, the whole of thelll 
eager to come. 


But Reynard, the fox, was not there: he was lying in 
wait at his home, 
And meant not to go to the court, that pilgriIn a ban- 
doned and false; 
Little favour expected he there. According to habit 
of old, 


122 



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REYNARD THE FOX 


12 3 


To practise his villainous tricks \vas the pleasantest 
thing to the scamp. 
And now at the court could be heard the most beauti- 
ful songs of the day; 
Sweet food and fine \vines to the guests with unspar- 
ing hand \vere supplied, 
And tilting anù fencing \vere shown. Of those who 
had COine to the feast, 
Attached hÍ1nself each to his own, and in singing and 
danciu(l' enO'i:1 u ed ' 
ð ð ð , 
While at intervals, no\v and again, the reed-pipe and 
flute nlight be heard. 
And the king, frOlll his hall up above, looked affably 
do\vn on the scene; 
The un\vielùy disorder hÍ1n pleased, and to gaze on 
it gave hilll delight. 


Eight days had thus flown to the past (the king had 
conle do\vn to the feast, 
And taken his seat at the board anlong the supreme of 
his lorùs, . 
With his consort, the queen, at his side) when bloody 
the raLbit arrived, 
And, stepping in front of the king, said he, in most 
sorrowful tones: 


o master! 0 
ing! and all of you here! on me pity 
bestow! 
For cruel deception so base and murderous actions so 
vile, 
As now from the fox I endure, have seldom been 
brought to your ken. 
About six o'clock yesterday morn I came on him 
seated alone, 
As, taking a stroll on the road, before Malepartus I 
passed; 



12 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


I expected to go on my way ,vithout molestation or 
fear ; 
But, clad in a pilgrim's attire, as though morning prayer 
he perused, 
He was sitting in front of his gate. When eyes I put 
on hin1 I tried 
To pass nÜnbly by on IllY road, that I to your court 
might proceed. 
But he spied 1ne and instantly rose; to meet me, 
stepped right in n1Y path, 
And I thought that he \vished me to greet; he seized 
n1e, ho\vever, instead, 
With murd'rous intent in his grasp, and between my 
ears I could feel 
His cla\vs in lny flesh, and I certainly thought that my 
head I shoulJ lose, 
For long and sharp are his nails; he pressed me below 
to the earth. 
I luckily got nlyself free and, as I'm so spry, I es- 
ca ped ; 
He snarled as I left him behind, and swore be would 
find me again. 
I bridled l1lY tongue and made off; alas, he, however, 
retained 
An ear that he tore from my head; and I COIne with a 
blood-covered scalp. 
See, froBl it four holes have I borne! You will easily 
grasp in your minds 
The force of the blows that he struck; 'twas a chance 
that I ever got up. 
N ow consider, I pray, my distress, and reflect on your 
wardship as well ; 
For who can a journey attempt, or who can come here 
to your court, 
If the robber stands guard on the roads and damages 
all 
ho approach 1 



REYNARD THE FOX 


12 5 


He scarcely had drawn to a close \vhen alighted the 
talkative rook, 
Sir Corbant, \"ho said: Most worshipful lord and 
beneficent king
 
The tidings are sad that I have to impart; I am not in 
a state 
To say llluch, on account of my woe and alarnl; and I 
fear very Hluch 
That lIlY heart it \vill hreak, so \vretched a thing has 
just harpened to HIe. 
l\Iy \vife, 
listress Keellbeak, and I were \valkillg 
together to-day, 
Betin18s in the morn, and lleynard foulld lying as dead . 
OIJ the heath; 
Both eyes \vere turned up in his head, and lifeless "'as 
hanging his tongue 
Far out of his wide open 1l10Uth. Then, frolli sheer 
fright, I Legan 
To IURtily scream; he nioved hÍ1nself not; I cried and 
ben10aned ; 
Exclainled: \V oe to IDe! and alas! And then I re- 
peated the plaint: 
Alas, he is dead! IIow sorry for hilD and afflicted I 
an} ! 
My wife was in sadness as well, and VOice gave 'we 
both to our grief. 
I fingered hiln belly and head; IllY 'wife in like DianneI' 
dre\v near, 
And placed herself close to his chin, to find if hiR 
breathing at all 
Gave indication of life, but she waited and listened in 
vaIn; 
We both to this fact could have sworn. N O\Y, please, 
the calamity hear! 
As without apprehension and sad, to the n10uth of the 
treacherous scanJp 



126 


REYNARD THE FOX 


She nearer put forward her beak, the monster took note 
of the act, 
And at her with suddenness snapped and savagely bit 
off her head. 
How stricken with terror I was, I will not attenlpt to 
describe. 
Woe, woe! I shouted and screamed; then darted he 
forth and, at once, 
Snapped also at me, when backwards 1 started and 
hasten ed to fl y ; 
If I Bot so ninlble had been, he would likewise have 
Ble firu11y caught. 
The Illurùerer's clutches, inùeed, I hardly escaped as it 
,va s ; 
III haste I Hew into a tree. Oh, had I nlY sorrowful 
life 
:x ot preserved! l\fy \vife I could see held fast in the 
lllÍscreant/s cla\vs. 
.L
las! the dear creature he quickly devoured, and to 
me he appeared 
\r oracious and falnished, as if yet another he gladly 
would eat; 
He left not a bone unconsu1l1ed, not even a knuckle 
remained. 
Such \vas the blow I sustained. He hurried away 
frolll the place, 
But I was not able to leave; I flew, with a sorrowful 
heart, 
.Þ.Lgain to the spot, where all I could find was some 
feathers and blood 
Of Iny \vife's, anù these I bring hither to you, as a 
proof of the crin1e. 
Have pity, beneficent lord; for should you at present 
agalu 
With this dastardly traitor forbear, and legitimate ven- 
geance defer; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


12 7 


Shoulù you to your safeguards and peace not force mIll 
due eluphasis give, 
About it luuch talk there nlÏght be, that would not be 
much to your nlind; 
For, 'tis said, he is guilty hÜuself of the deed, who to 
punish hath po\ver 
And punisheth not; each then, \vith high hand, tries 
to carry things on. 
Your dignity it \vould affect; to give it S0111e thought 
would be \Ven. 
Thus had the plaint of the crow and the good little 
rabbit been brought 
Before the asseulLled court. Then Leo, the king, was 
enraued 
b , 
And he cried: I now, by lny nuptial troth, before all 
of you swear 
That I \vill so punish this crime, that long it reinelll- 
bered shall be. 
1\ly rule and safe-conduct to scoff! That will I never 
end ure. 
Too lightly by far put I trust in the scanlp and let hÜn 
esca pe ; 
As a pilgrirn hinl even equipped, and sa\v make his 
exit fronl here, 
As if he \vere going to Rome. 'Vhat indeed did the 
liar not nlake 
Us believe! How well he contrived a word ill aùvance 
frOln the queen, 
With ease, to secure. On nle she prevailed anù no\v 
he is free. 
But not the last one shall I be, whose heart \vith 
repentance is wrung, 
Through taking a ,vornan's advice. And if we shall 
longer allow 
The villain unpunished to go, \ve soon Rhall be covered 
with shame; 



128 


REYNARD THF FOX 


He never was aught hut a knave, and such will he 
ever reman). 
N o,v consult you together, illY lurds, how to catch him 
and bri ng hÜn to book; 
If a bout it we earnestly set, the nlatter will surely 
succeed. 


Most highly these ,vords of the king did Bruin and 
IsengrÏ1n plea:se. 
At last ,ve our vengean ce shall see! Such was the 
thought of them both; 
Yet express not a 'YOI'd did they dare, for clearly they 
sa w that the king 
'Vas greatly disturbed in his n1Ïnd, and all boiling 
over ,vith ,yrath. 


And after a time said the queen: For you, my dear 
lord, it is Lad 
So heavy to be in your wrath and so light in the use 
of bad ,\-orL1s; 
Your consequence suffers thereby, and the value of 
what you Inay say. 
The facts of the case have as yet Ly no llleans been 
brought to the light. 
Has yet the accused to be hear(l ; and, should he before 
us Le brought, 
Would silent be Inany a one, ,vho no,v against Reynard 
declainls. 
Both parties should always be heard, for Inany a 
ventureSOlne knave 
Brings charges to cover n1Ïsdeeds of his own. As 
learned and wise 
I Reynard esteemed, without wicked thoughts, who 
always, indeed, 
Had only your good in his mind, though now this 
måy not so appear. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


12 9 


To follo\v hi
 counsel is good, yea, even though true 
that his life 
Be such as to luerit luuch blanle. And then it is \vell 
to reflèct 
Ün the alnple ext.ent of his fanÜly ties. The Blatter 
\vill not 
Be Í111proved by precipitate haste, and \vhatever it be 
you deciJ.e 
You certainly can, in the eud, as lord and COnl111ander, 
enforce. 


HereaL HiI' Lupardus remarked: To many you've given 
your 
ar, 
Now al
o gi\"'e ear unto 111e. He yet luay appear and 
what you 
Decide upon then, at once shall be done; so probably 
think 
These lords \"ho asselnbled are here, and as well your 
illustrious queen. 


Broke Isengrinl in upon this: 'Vhat each nlay think 
best let hinl say, 
Give ear, Sir Lupardus, to me. If at this very mornent, 
inù eed, 
Reynard 'were here and hinlself should acquit of this 
t\vofold cOluplaint, 
Still easy for DIe \vould it be, to make it as clear as 
the day 
That the 1a \v has a clainl on his life. But silence 1'11 
keep a Lout all, 
Till we hin1 118ve 
ecun
d. Can you have furgotten 
ho\v Inuch he the king 
Decei ved with that treasure of his, which he should 
in Hüsterlo, near 



13 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Unto J{rekelborn find, and the other great falsehoods 
besides that he told? 
To all the deceiver he's played, and Bruin and me has 
disgraced; 
}\1y life I will risk upon this. Thus now is the liar 
engaged 
On the heath; he is roving about, committing foul 
murders and thefts: 
Seenls it good to the king and his lords, then matters, 
of course, as they are 
May go on. Yet, were he in earnest himself to present 
at the court, 
We him had here seen long ago. The scouts of the 
king were despatched 
All over the land, to summon the guests, yet, at home 
he relnained. ' 


To this said the king in reply: By waiting so long for 
hÜn here 
What good do we get? Let each be prepared (thus 
do I cOffilnand) 
To go with 111e off in six days; for I, let me tell you, 
will see 
An end to these charges and gflevances hrought. 
What say you, nlY lords? 
Would the rascal not manage, at last, a land to 
destruction to bring? 
1\Iake ready as best you know how, and come in your 
armour arrayed; 
COllle furnished with bow and with spear, and all 
other weapons you have, 
And show yourselves gallant and brave; and before 
me let each of you bear, 
FOT knights I fi1ay dub on the field, without loss of 
honour his name. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


13 1 



falepartus, the castle, 'we'll seize, and ,vhat he Inay 
have in the place 
'Ve will then overhaul. Then shouted they all in 
accord: "\Ve'11 obey. 


Thus did the king and his knights determine Sir 
Reynard's strong fort, 
l\falepartus, to storln, and the fox to chastise. But 
Grimbart, at this, 
Who one of the council had been, went stealthily out 
and made haste 
Reynard, his uncle, to find, in order to take him the 
news. 
In sorrow his road he pursued, and thus he bemoaned 
to hinlself: 
l\ly uncle, what now may take place? Alas! with 
good reason for thee 
Do an of thy kindred lanlent, thou head of the whole 
of our race. 
When our causes ,vere pleaded by you we felt ourselves 
perfectly safe, 
For no one could stand before you and your varied 
supply of resource. 


Thus going, the castle he reached and Reynard found 
sitting outside, 
Who had managed, just prior to this, two tender young 
pigeons to catch, 
That out of their nest had escaped, to make an endeav- 
our to fly; 
But short were their wings for the task, and down 
they had fallen to earth, 
Unable to arise; in this way had Reynard them 
seized, 
For he prowled about often to hunt. Just then in the 
distance he saw 



13 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Coming GriDIbart, and did hiIn a \vait. In giving him 
greeting he said: 
1\ly nephe\v, more welcome you are than anyone else 
of nl y blood. 
But why are you running so hard? You gasp! Are 
you bringing DIe ne\vs ? 
And GrÌ1nbart replied to hiIn thus: The tidings I have 
to announce, 
When heard, \vill no solace con vey; you see, I come 
running through fear. 
Your life and estates are all lust. The wrath of the 
king I have seen; 
He swears that you now he \vill catch and put to an 
illfalnous death. 
He even has ordered us all, the sixth day from now, 
with our arnIS 
To march to this place, \vith bow and with sword, with 
wagons and guns. 
Against you is everything now, so think on the matter 
betiInes ; 
For Bruin and Isengrim both are again hand and glove 
with the king; 
1\10re trusted by him of a truth than I was ere trusted 
by you; 
And all conIes to pass as they wish. A horrible cut- 
throat and thief 
You Isengrinl openly called, and in this way excites he 
the king. 
He has uur high sheriff been lllade, as you, in some 
weeks, will find out-. 
The rabbit appeared, a nel also the crow, and they 
brought in the court 
The gravest cOlllplaints against you.. If only the king 
have success 
In catching you now, your life is not long, that can 
I but fear. 



. 
REYNARD THE FOX 


133 


Nothing further? reRponùed the fox. For all that you, 
so far, have said 
I care not a snap of DlY thUDl b. If the king and his 
council c(Huplete . 
Haù doubly and trebly affinned, and taken inviolate oaths, 
Yet I, \vhen 1 conle in their n1Ïdst, will raise lllyself 
up above all. 
They ad vise and still they ad vise, yet never can speak to 
the point. 
Dear nephe\v, all this never luind, but conle with me 
llO\V and find out 
'Vhat you I all1 able to give. These pigeons just: no\v 
I have caught, 
Young and fat; they still of an dishes I know are 
the lllOst to lIlY taste; 
For easy they are to digest, one has but to swallo,v 
them do\vn ; 
And s\veet do the little bones taste, they verily nlelt 
in the lTIouth, 
COlnposed of balf nÜlk and half blood. Spoon-Ineat 
agrees \vith Ine well, 
And it
s also the sa 111e with my wife; so conle and 
she \viH, I aln sure, 
To greet UR be pleased; yet let her not kno\v for what 
purpose you've COlne, 
A trifle sinks into her heart and \vorries her ahnost to 
death. 
To-morrow with you I \vill go to the court, and I hope 
that you there 
Will give nle, dear nephew, such help as becomes a 
relation to give. 


My life and my goods I engage at your service to 
cheerfully place, 
Said the badger, and Reynard replied: Be sure I shall 
bear this in mind; 



134 


REYNARD THE FOX 


So long as I live, it shall tenJ. to your gain. The other 
rejoined: 
Go boldly your judges to face, and your cause do your 
best to defend. 
What you have to urge they win hear; Lupardus him- 
self has declared 
That punisheJ. you ought not to be, till you have been 
given the chance 
To fully put in your defence, and the queen doth her- 
self think the same. 
This circumstance note and endeavour to use. Then 
'Reynard relnarked: 
Be only cOlnposed and all will go well. The irascible 
king, 
When he hears Ine, will alter his lllind; it all will 
come right in the end. 


And thus went the two within doors, and there they 
with kindness were met, 
And well by the housewife received; ,vhatever she 
bad she brought forth. 
Anlong theIn the pigeons were shared, and tasteful 
and good they were found; 
And each ate his share, still they had not enough and 
undoubtedly would 
Have ,veIl a half-dozen consullled, if but they had been 
to be had. 


To the badger then Reynard remarked: You must, my 
dear uncle, admit 
That I've children of qualities rare, with whorn every 
one must be pleased. 
N ow tell me how Rossel you like, and Reinhart, the 
little one, too. 
Some day they our race will augment; they little by 
little begin 



REYNARD THE FOX 


135 


Thenlselves to improve, and to me are a pleasure from 
nlorning to night. , 
The one can lay hold of a fowl and the other a chicken 
ensnare ; 
And well to the water they take, in order young duck- 
lings to fetch, 
Or a plover, perchance. To send thenl l110re often to 
hunt I should like, 
But taught Inust they be, above all, with prudence and 
caution to act, 
That springes and hunters and dogs they well may 
kno\v how to avoid; 
And then if right Inethuds they learn, and reliable evi- 
dence give 
That they are \vell trained, as is fitting they should, 
then daily they ought 
Provisions to find and bring in, anJ nought should be 
wanting at home. 
For both of them take after me and join in the fiercest 
of sports; 
And, when they begin so to play, all others come off 
second best; 
Their rival them feels at his throat and struggles not 
long after that; 
Which is Reynard's o,vn Inanner of sport. They also 
are swift in their grip, 
And sure is the !-;pring that they give, ,vhich Inethin ks 
is precisely the thing. 


To this Grimbart said: To honour it tends, and one 
may reJoIce, 
Y oun a children to have such as one would desire, and 
b 
,vho in their craft 
Get early adroit, their parents to help. I an1 very nluch 
pleased 



13 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


To know thenl to be of my race, and hope for the best 
at their hands. 
That matter we'll leave for to-day, said Reynard, and 
no\v let us go 
To our rest, for we all are fatigued, and Grimbart's com- 
pletely \vorn out.. 
At this they lay down in the room, which, over the 
\vhole of its floor, 
Was covered \vith hay and with leaves, and there all 
together they slept. 


But Reynard, through fear, kept awake; the matter 
appeared to hinl now 
Of counsel the best to demand, and rnorning still found 
hiIn in thought. 
He got hÜnself up from his couch, and unto his wife 
he 0 bsel'veù : 
You \vill not be worried, I trust, but Grimbart has 
corn e to en treat 
That I go with hinl back to the court. You tranquilly 
rest here at houle. 
Should allY one speak about me, make the best of tbe 
case that you can, 
And lock up the castle with care; this do, and then all 
will go well. 


And Ernlelyn said: It seems to me strange that you 
dare to present 
Yourself any Inore at the court, where you are so lowly 
esteelned. 
Is it so that you must? I can't make it out. Con- 
sider the past. 
Indeed, said Reynard to this, no jesting affair was it 
theu ; 
For n1any \vere seeking Iny harn1, and I caine into 
terrible straits. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


137 


But very diverse are the things that, under the sun, 
come about. 
Against expectation, at times, we of this and of that 
ha ve a taste; 
And who thinks that he anything has, may suddenly 
find that it's gone. 
So let 1He, I pray you, depart; for I there have a great 
deal to do. 
Kee}! calnl! That I earnestly beg; there is not any 
real-,on for you 
To worry yourself. The issue await, for, Iny dear, you 
will see, 
If only I can it effect, llle in five or six days again 
Lack. 
And then ,vent he forth on his way, with GrÜnbart, the 
badger. on guard. 



CANTO EIGHT. 


A
D no\v both together they \vent still further on over 
the heath, 
Grim bart and Reynard the fox, direct to the court 
of the king ; 
Anll Reynard. ren1arked on the road: Let matters turn 
out as they lllay, 
I now a presentiment feel that our trip advantageous 
win prove. 
Dear uncle, attend to l11e, pray! Since last unto you I 
cunfessed 
New slips have I Inade again back into culpable actions 
and thoughts; 
The grave and the minor things hear, as well as \vhat 
then I forgot. 


Froin the body and hide of the bear I caused to be cut 
for my use 
A large and available piece, anll to 111e have the wolf 
and. his wife 
Been forced to relinquish their shoes; in this \vay 
I vented my spleen. 
All this was by lying procured; I knew very \vell bow 
the king 
To provoke, and hÏ111 in this lllanner have duped to 
a frightful exteut, 
}'or I told hinl a wonderful yarn and fanciful treasures 
devised. 
But that did not make llle content, so Lanlpen I sent to 
his death, 
And Bellyn packed off with the murder'd one's head. 
The king was enraged 
13 8 



REYNARD THE FOX 


[39 


A'S soon as he noticed the ram, and made him the 
reckoning pay. 
The coney I pinched as hard as I could at the back of 
his ears, 
And nearly deprived of his life, and then out of temper 
became, . 
Because he nlade good his escape. I must also confess 
that the crow 
Not at all ",ith injustice c0111plained, for Keenbeak, his 
dear EttIe \vife, 
I devoured. Such are the deeds I have done since last 
I confessed. 
But there's one thing \vhich then I forgot, and which 
to you no\v I ,vill ten; 
An infalTIOUS trick that I played, and which it is right 
you should kno\v, 
For I ùo not desire any l110re such a burden to hear. 
On the back 
Of the \voU 1 saddled it then; ,ve were walking 
together one day, 
Elvarclen and Houlthulst between, when, a short dis- 
tance off, \ve espied 
A mare in a field with her foal, and each of the t\VO 
\vere alike 
As black as a raven in hue; in age the young foal 
might have been 
Approaching four 11lonths. 'Vith hunger was IsengrÜn 
racked, so he begged 
1\1:e to go and inquire of the lllare if she would not Hell 
us the foal, 
And also the price. So to her I proceeded and veu- 
tured the thing. 
My dear mistress Blare, to her I observed, the foal is 
your o\vn, 
As I kllO'W; \vill you sen it to Ille 1 To ascertain that 
is lilY wish. 



14 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


She replied: If enough you \vill pay, I without it can 
very well do, 
And the sum for its purchase required, that you rnay 
see for yourself ; 
Behind, upon one of lilY feet, you \vill find it engraved. 
Then I saw 
What she meant, and thereto I replied: I IIlUst to you 
freely confess 
That reading and \vriting with nle are not the success 
I could wish, 
Nor indeed do I covet the child for myself; it was 
Isengrirn wished, 
Your terms with exactness to learn, and sent me to 
you to find out. 


She said in reply: Let him come; he then can find out 
what he wauts. 
I left her and Isengrim found where still he was \vait- 
ing for rne. 
If you would your hunger appease, just go, I announced, 
and the mare 
Will give you the colt; the price can Le found on one 
of her hoofs, 
Engraved on the frog. I could, she rernarked, try to 
find it myself; 
But I, to my shame and chagrin, many things anl com- 
pelled to let slip, 

'or reading and writing I never was taught. lVIy 
uncle, you try, 
And look at what there is inscribed; you may it deci- 
pher, perhaps. 


Quoth Isengrim then : Not read it, you say? To lne 
that were strange I 
German, Italian, and French, and Latin 1 thoroughly 
know 1 
. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


14 1 


:For a steady attendant I've been at the schools which 
in Erfurt are fou ud. 
"\Vith the learned and wise of the place, including the 
masters of law, 
IIave judgments and questions exchanged, and also my 
license received 
In regular fonn; and of writings, all kinds that can 
ever be found 
I can read with tbe ease of my name; I therefore 
to-day shall not fail. 
"\Vait here! I \vill go and the letters peruse, and then 
,ve shall see. 
He went and inquired of the mare: How ll1uch do you 
ask for the foal? 
1fake it cheap! She thereupon said: The alllount you 
can read for yourself ; 
You will find it on one of my feet, a hind one, dis- 
tinctly engraved. 
Let me see it, responded the wolf. She said: I will do 
as you ,vish. 
Then up from the grass went her foot, on which had 
ùeen fastened a shoe, 
Beset 'with a half-dozen nails; straight out flew her 
boof, and went wide 
N at so llluch as a hair; hit hinl plump on his skull, 
and he fell to the earth, 
And lay there as though he '\\
ere dead. She galloped, 
however, frolll there 
As fast as she could. Thus \vounded he lay and long 
so renlainecl. 
An hour passed a,vay, to move then again he began, 
and he howled 
Like a dog. I trotted then up to his side, and sir uncle, 
I said, 
Pray ,vhere is the nlare ? How tasted the colt 1 You 
feasted yourself 



14 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And nle quite forgot; that \vas wrong, for I it was 
brought you the news; 
After eating, a nap you enjoyed; llO\V tell me, I beg 
you, ho\v ran 
The writing found under the hoof? An eminent 
scholar you are. 


Said he: Are you bantering still ? Just now have gone 
matteI'S 'with nle 
III enough! In truth, would a stone S0111e pity upon 
1118 bestow. 
That long-legged jade of a nlare! l\lay the hanglnan 
pay it her back! 
,For clouted \vith iron \vas her foot; and these were 
the letters I found: 
Sonle nails newly forged! JTrolll \vhich I received six 
\vounds in lilY head. 


He hardly got off with his life. I now have confessed 
to you all, 
And pardon, dear nephew, I crave for these my iniqui- 
tous works. 
How things n1ay turn out at the court is not sure; 
however, 1 have 
J\1:y conscience relieved of a load, and washed myself 
clean froin lilY sins. 
N ow tell me how I 111ay reforlu, in order relnissj on to 
gaIn. 


Then Grimbart replied: I find you encumbered afresh 
with misdeeds; 
Still, the dead cannot live any more. Far better, 
indeed, woulù it be, 
If life you'd allowed them to keep. Yet, uncle, I now 
am disposed, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


143 


On account of the terrible hour, and because of the 
nearness of death, 
That menaces you, your sins to ren1Ït, as -the servant of 
Christ ; 
For relentless they follow you up, aud I tremble with 
fear for the \VOl'SL. 
Above all, for the head of the hare \vill vengeance 
against yuu lJe sought; 
Extl'elllely audacious it \vas, I nlust o"
n, our n10narch 
to vex, 
And is of Blore dallwge to you than you, in your fool- 
ishness, thought. 


K ot a scrap, responded the scarnp. Here's something 
I wish you to heal' : 
To live \vithout Sill in the world is something uncom- 
ulonly rare, 
One canllot so holy Le kept, as \vhen in a cloister, you 
kllO\V ; 
If a lHan has with honey to deal, his fingers he licks 
now and then. , 
Now Lalnpen 111e greatly anuoyed, for backward and 
fOl'\vard he skipped 
I n front of IllY eyes a11 a bout; his fat little body I 
liked, 
And love T let go to the dogs. To Bellyn I'd reason 
to \vish 
But little that's good. The darnage Ü; theirs, the sin is 
Ulllle o\vn. 
But they were in measure so coarse, and in all, whatso- 
ever they did, 
So stupid a
d dull. N eec1ed I, then, ohserve strict 
decorun1 with then1 ? 
SUlall liking had I for 
uch things; myself, at that 
tin1e, from the court 


. 



144 


REYNARD THE FOX 


. 


I had with anxiety saved, and taught theIll in this and 
in that, 
But 't\vas all of no use. Each ought, it is true, his 
neigh bour to love, 
That rill constrained to admit, still I held them in 
little esteem; 
And dead is dead, as you your o\vn self have renlarked; 
then perlnit 
Us of other things now to converse. In truth, these 
are dangerous tiInes ! 
In high life and low what is no\v going on? But talk 
\ve Inust not; 
Yet cannot help using our eyes and having some 
thoughts of our own. 


The king bÜnself steals, as we know, like aU the rest 
of the crowd; 
'Vhat he does not lay hands on himse1f he orders the 
bears and the wolves 
To secure, and believes that so doing ,is right. There is 
none to be found 
'Vho will venture to tell him the truth, not even con- 
fessor or priest, 
So deep has the evil struck root. They are dUlnb! and 
why i
 this so 1 
With him they the plunder enjoy, no matter how 
small is the gain. 
Should anyone go and complain, with equal advantage 
he miO'ht 
b 
Reach out for the air; he squanders his time, and had 
better employ 
Himself in sOlne other pursuit. For gone is gone, and 
when once 
From you a more potent one takes what you have 
possessed, to your plaint 



REYNARD THE FOX 


145 


Ðut little attention is paid, anù wearison1e gets it at 
last. 
The lion's our nlonarch and lord, and all things to 
seize for hinlself 
lIe consiflel's as due to his rank. .A,s a rule, us his 
peo}Jle he calls, 
-L--\.uJ certainly all that is ours appears to belong unto 
him. 


Wilt allow rne, Iny uncle, to speak? Our king is the 
foudest, by far, 
Of tho
e \\-ith full hands \vho approach, and who, in 
accord \vith the tu ne 
That is piped, understand how to dance; too clearly is 
thaL to be 
een. 
That the \volf and the bear have obtaineù access to his 
council again 
Is to lnany a ,vrong; they steal and they rob, yet are 
loved by the king. 
All see it, anù yet lJotbiug say, each hoping that his 
tnrn \vill come: 
Over four there are thus to be found, having place at 
the side of the king, 
'Vho favoured are 1110re than the rest, and greatest of 
all are at court. 
But if a poor devil like l11e put hands upou even a chick, 
Upon hirn they pounce all at once and follo\v tin he 
has been caught; 
And then, ,vith one voice, they conden1n the fellow 
\vith clanlonr to death. 
Petty robbers are hanged on the spot, the bigger ones 
get for themselves 
Advantages great. They govern the land and the cas- 
tles possess. 
See, uncle, I notice all this, and upon it can't help but 
reflect. 



14 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


l\iy own gan1e I thereupon play, and, moreover, I think 
very oft 
That right it aðsuredly is, since such a great nunlber 
so act. 
To be sure, then IllY conscience \vakes up and pictures 
to Ine, frolll afar, 
The anger and justiee of Goti, and makes me reflect on 
the enti. 
}"'or injustice, nu lllatter how slnall, compensation at 
last lllust be nlade. 
Hepentance at heart I then feel; it lasts, however, not 
long. 
Indeed, \vhat good does it do to belong to the best? 
]1"01' the best 
}'roIll slander's vile tougue, in these times, ren1ain not 
in safety exeulpt. 
The people llO\V think it their right into all kinds of 
things to in<luire, 
And no one they lightly forget; they invent even this 
thing and that. 
Little good in the co 111 III OIl S is found, but few of thenl 
really deserve 
To have for their rulers and lords such DleD as are 
honest anti just; 
]Tor of that \vhich is evil they sing, and ever and ever 
they talk; 
They know \yhat is good in their lords, 1e high or be 
lo\v thei l' degree, 
Yet this they say nothiug about, anti seldon1 we find it 
discussed. 
Worst of all is, however, to me, the conceit of that no- 
tion so false, 
Which gets such a hold of ulankind, that anyone can, 
in the strife 
()f a vehement turbulent will, direct tbe affairs of the 
world. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


147 


Should each one his children and \vife, ho\vever, III 
order ]naintain, 
Or his insolent servants contrive to subdue then In 
, 
cahnness he could, 
'Vhile fools are expending their means, rejoice In a 
telllperate life. 
But ho\v shall the \vorlel be iInproved, \vhen each 
allo\vs all to hiIuself, 
,And ùeternunes the rest of n1ankind by force to bring 
u wJ.er his rule ? 
Thus deeper, and deeper, for aye, into all that is 
\vicked \ve sink. 


lauder and treaSOll and lie
, and taking of oaths that 
are false; 
Elllhezzlen1ent, nlurder, aud theft, ODe hears nought of 
anything else; 
False prophets and hypocrites both are shau18fully 
cheating mankind. 


Thus every one pas
es his life, and, if they be faith- 
fully warued, 
They receive it \vith scorn, and rernark: Oh, yes! but 
if sin \vere, indeed, 
So painful aud hard to be Lorne as learned men here 
and there pl'ea
h, 
Then sur
ly the parsons then1selves \vould try from all 
faults to be free. 
Bad exalllple they plead as excuse, and in that are pre- 
cisely allierl 
To the \vhole of the sin1Ïan race, which, fornled but to 
n1Ìn1Ïc and lllock, 
Yet havin u nor reason nor choice, nlust suffer ineffable 
b 
harI11. 
Of a truth, ought the tHen of the cloth themselves to 
more fitly demean, 



14 8 


REYNARD THF FOX 


Very much could by them be achieved, if only in pri- 
vate they did; 
But they care not a tittle for us outside of their call- 
ing an d craft, 
And practise whatever they please in front of our eyes, 
as if we 
Were stricken with blindness cornplete; too clearly 
however \ve see 
That their VO\Vs rejoice the good Lord to fully as slnall 
an extent 
As suit they their fallible friends, \vhose lives by the 
world are absorbed.' 


Thus do the priests, as a rule, on the opposite side of 
the Alps, 
Their own precious darlings enjoy; in these regions 
also there are 
As many \vho sinfully act. But I shall be told that 
they have 
Their children like those \vho in wedlock are joined, 
and them to maintain 
They struggle with ardonr and zeal, and raise them . 
high up in the \vorld. 
But afterward these can reflect no more whence their 
fathers arose, 
And to none wi
l precedency yield, but proudly and 
haughtily walk 
As if they were noble of race, and always are firm in 
the thought 
That the n1atter is strictly correct. A custom of yore 
it was not 
So high to regard the children of priests, but now are 
they all 
As my lords and my ladies addressed. Yes, money 
can do what it will. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


149 


It is seldom a princely estate can be found, where the 
parsons do not 
J\lake a levy of taxes and rents, and extort from the 
village and lllÏll. 
They turn topsy-turvy the world, and COll1mon folk 
,yickeclness learn; 
For 'tis plain, ,vhen the clergy thus do, that all in their 
sins \vill incl ulge, 
And the Llind \vill be leading the blind a,vay from 
,vhatever is gooù. 
Indeed, \vho has ever renlarked the good ,yorks of 
these heaven-born priests, 
And ho\v they the holy Church, by example of good- 
ness, build up? 
Who ever lives now in such way ? We are simply 
confirrned in our sins. 
'Thus it no\v with the people befalls, so how can the 
world then improve? 


But listen still further to me! If one out of wedlock 
is born, 
Then let hiu) thereover be still. What more can he 
do in the case? 
Now I nlean only this, understand: If any such one 
shall himself 
But sinlply 'with nleekness conduct, and not with an 
air of conceit 
His fellows proyoke, no offence is received, and one 
\vould be wrong 
To make it a subject of talk. Our birth has no power 
us to make 
Either good or exalted in nlind, nor can it be held for 
reproach; . 
But virtue and vice are the things that make true dis- 
tinctions in man. 



15 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Men of learning and 'worth in the Ohurch are ever with 
justice esteemed 
And honoured by all; but the wicked a wicked ex- 
alnple present. 
Should such a one preach at his best, yet at length will 
the laity say: 
When he righteousness talks and ,vickedness does, how 
are \ve to select? 
N or is he of use to the Church; to each in his sern10ns 
he says: . , 
Give money to keep up the Church; that, beloved, is 
w hat I advise, 
If indulgence and mercy you wish to obtain. Thus 
his discourse he ends. 
And does precious little to help, indeed, not a thing; 
and for all 
That he cares, might the Church tumble down. Still 
further to go, he esteen1S 
The best kind of life to be this: in costly attire to he, 
clothed, 
And to eat of the daintiest food. And in worldly 
affairs if he finds 
Himself overwhelmed with concern, how can he in 
worshi p engage? 
Good parsons in serving the Lord are daily and hourly 
employed, 
And put into practice the good; and thus to the holy 
Church 
Of the greatest of service they are; and, through good. 
example, their flocks, 
To the gate of salvation they lead, by the way that is 
narrow and strait. 


But I know the behooded as ,veIl; they prattle and 
, jabLer and prate 
Ever concerning their forms, and are always in search 
of the rich; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


15 1 


The people to flatter know how, and love to be called 
as their guests. 
Invite you but one, then a second arrives, and you 
further 'will find 
Yet t\VO or three others appear. Then again, in the 
convent the Olle 
Who well understands how to talk the quickest pro- 
motion will gain; 
The lec.tor is sure to become, or may be the custos or 
pnor. 
The others are pushed to one side. The dishes are 
furnished and served 
In quite a dissirllilar way; for SOlne must, of nights, in 
the choir 
Sing and read, and visit the haunts of the dead, while 
others obtain 
Great favours, and rest can procure, and eat the Inost 
costly of food. 


The legates likewise of the Pope, the abbots and prel- 
ates and monks, 
The Beguins and even the nuns, of all a great deal 
migh t be said. 
Everywhere is the cry: Give TIle what is yours anù 
touch not what's mine. 
In truth, there are fe\v to be found, not seven, \vho 
Ii ve in accord 
With the brotherhood's precepts and rules, as a pattern 
of virtuous life. 
The priesthood is thus to be found D10st thoroughly 
rotten and weak. 


My uncle, the badger replied, I see you n1Îllutely con- 
fess 
Exotical sins. What advantageth that? J\lethinks 
there must be 



15 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Enough of your own. And tell 111e, lIlY uncle, why 
you should concern 
Yourself with the clergy's affairs, and this thing and 
that, as you do ? 
Let each b.is own burden take up, and each and every 
one gIve 
Account of hÜnself, how he in his station of life doth 
attenl pt 
His duty to do, \vhich is sonlething that no one on 
earth Inay neglect, 
Not either the old or the young, in cloister or out iu 
the world. 
You talk altugether too n1uch about things of all kinds, 
and at length 
Might rne into error seduce. So thoroughly ,veIl 
, 
you 1'e a 'ware 
I-Io\v now is directed the world, and all its åffairs are 
ordained, 
That none for a parson is better endo,ved. With the 
rest of the sheep, 
I \vould come to confess at your house, ånd under your 
teaching would sit, 
Of your wisdom a kno,vledge to get; for I am COll1- 
pelled to adn1Ít 
That stupid and rough the most of us are, and need 
good advice. 


When they, in such converse as this, had C0111e pretty 
near to the court, 
Reynard said: Thus now is the Rubicon 'passed! alid 
he roused hinlself up. 
And they came upon l\fartin the ape, who, just at that 
tilne, had set forth, 
With intention to travel to Rome. He gave a good 
day to them both. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


153 


Dear' uncle, stand '\vell to your guns, he sagely re- 
luarked to the fox, 
Aud asked about this thing and that, although the 
'\vhole Inatter he knew. 
1\..h! how in these lattel'lllost days does fortune against 
me take sides, 
Said Reynard to hinl in reply; some thieves have been 
at it again 
And accused me once n10re; I know not of wholn they 
consist, but in chief 
Are the '\vretehed young rabbit and crow; the one is 
bereft of his \vife, 
And the other of one of his ears. Now what do I 
care about that? 
Could only I speak \vith the king, then snlart should 
they both for their pains. 
But Inost 1'111 Ünpeded by this, that under the ban of 
the Pope 
I still, to my SOITO\V, reinain. The dean has full 
power in the case, 
And he is esteemed by th
 king. Now the ban has 
upon l11e been put 
Entirely for IsengrÍ1n's sake, \vho once had become a 
reel use, 
But ran fruni the convent away, \vherein he sojourned 
at Elklnar. 
He swore that he could not so live, for he was too 
strictly confined, 
Fronl food had too long to abstain, nor could so much 
reading endure; 
So I helped hÏ1n away from the place. It repents me 
the deed to have done, 
For he slanders me now to the king and ever Ine seeks 
to (lisgrace. 
To ROIIle nlust I go 1 In the rneantime at home will 
my family be 



154 


REYNARD THE FOX 


At loss what to do for themselves, for the wolf cannot 
lea ve them alone, 
But molests theln \vhere Bleet them he nlay. Then 
again, very many there are 
Who think nought but evil of 111e, and seize on \vhat- 
ever IS nune. 
If I were released fronl the ban, in far better state 
should I be, , 
l\ly fortune again at the court to follow with comfort 
and ease. 


Then Martin replied: I can help you in this; it hap- 
pens that I 
J liSt no\v aln departing for ROlne, and you \vith SOllle 
dodges can serve. 
Oppressed will I not let you be! As clerk to the 
bishop, Inethinks 
I know how the work should be done. I surely will 
see that the dean 
Forth \vith shall be cited tq Rome, and then I against 
him will fight. 
l\find, uncle, the business I'll push, and how to direct 
it I know. 
I'll see that the judgnlent's enforced; you doubtless 
through Hle \vill obtain 
Your discharge; I \vill fetch it myself, and'then shall 
your enemies all 
Laugh the \vrong side of their face; both nloney and 
pains they shall lose. 
I well understand ho\v matters are rnanaged at Ronle, 
and I know 
What ought and ought not to be done. 
fy uncle, 
Lord Sinlony's there, 
Well regarded and HÜghty he is, and help gives to all 
who well pay; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


155 


Sir Pluralist too, such a lord! Doctor Skinflint and 
oth ers beside; 
And Turncoat and Trinlmer to boot, I have the whole 
lot for lIlY friends. 
l\;Iy funds I have sent on ahead, for thus, you must 
know, does one there 
The best of ÏlHpressions produce. Of citations, indeed, 
they discourse, 
But 1110lle)" alone they desire; and let the \vhole matter 
be found 
How' crooked soever it may, \vith good pay I will 
straighten it out. 
If Inoney you Lrillg, then grace you'll obtain, but let 
you it lack, 
The door's then agaillst you closed. You tranquilly 
rest here at hOllle ; 
Your Lusiness I'll take on myself, and loosen its knot- 
tiest knots. 
You no\v go your \vay to the court; Dame Rückenau 
there you \vill find, 
1\ly spouse, \vho is held in the highest esteem by our 
lllaster the king, 
As also she is by the queen. She is quick in the use 
of her wit, 
So tell her the case; she is wise and intercedes gladly 
for friends; 
1\lany relatives there you will find. It dues not, at all 
times, avail 
The right of a nlatter to have. Two sisters 'with her 
you \vill finù, 
And three of lilY children as \vell, besides Inany 1110re 
of your race, 
To renùer you service prepared in \vhatever way you 
desire. 
And should you your rights be denied, you then will 
sonle knowledge ubtain 



15 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Of what J can do; and if you're oppressed, let file 
quickly it kno\v, 
And I'll have the \vhole land placed under the ban, the 
monarch and all 
Of the women and children and men. An interdict I 
will have sent, 
And no one shall sing any more, nor celebrate mass, 
nor baptise, 
N or bury, whatever it be. Take con1fort, my nephew, 
in this ! 


For aged and sick is the Pope; himself he no longer 
COllcerns 
With affairs, and is little esteemed. Also now at the 
court of th eking 
Has Cardinal Querulous absolute po\ver, and he is 
a young 
And a vigorous mall, a mettleson1e n1an, with a nlÌnd 
of his o\vn. ' 
He's in love with a WOll1an I know, and she him a 
h
tter shall take, 
And what it may be she den1ands she knows very \vell 
how to get; 
And his writer John Faction is there, \vho is most pre- 
cisely informed 
In coins, whether ancient or lle\V; then Jonathan Pry, 
his compeer, 
Is a gay hanger-on of the court; and the notary, Slip- 
pery Dick, 
A bachelor is of both kinds of law, and if he shall 
remaIn 
Yet longer a year, then in practical writings he perfect 
\vilI he. 
Beyond these, two judges are there, who go by the 
names of Lovegold 



REYNARD THE FOX 


157 


And Palmitch; and if they any ruling pronounce, then 
as law it relnains. 
Thus put into practice in Rome are many a prank and a 
trick 
That knows the Pope nothing about. Friends must we 
Blake for ourselves, 
:For by theIn are forgiven our sins, and also are persons 
released 
FroIn the ban. 1\ly dearest of uncles, you Inay surely 
rely upon this! 
F 01 long has the king been a ware that I will not allow 
you to fall. 
Your case I will see to its end, and that I anl able 
. to do; 
He ,vould also do ,veIl to reflect that many the!e are, 
to the apes 
And the foxes connected by ties, who best hin) with 
cou n sel assist; 
And that will you certainly help, go matters however 
they may, 


Reynard then spake: This comforts me much; I shall 
hear it in mind, 
Should no,v J but get rnyself free. Then each of the 
other took leave. 
Under safeguard of Grimbart the badger alone now 
Reynard pursued 
His ,yay to the court of the king, where bitter against 
him they felt. 



CANTO NINE. 


SIR REYNARD bad COlne to the court, believing that he 
could a vert 
The actions which threatened hÜn there, yet as he 
went in and perceived 
Together his nunlerous foes, as all stood about ill the 
place, 
Each eager hinlself to avenge, and hiIn to see punishe{l 
\vith death, 
His courage gave way; he began to distrust, yet bolLlly 
he \valkeù 
Right in through the midst of the lordf:), \vith Grinlbal't 
along at his side. 
They calne to the throne of the king, and Grinlbal't 
there whispered and said: 
N ow, Reynard, give way to no fear; to the tinÜd, 1'e- 
rnelnber, be sure, 
Will fortune her favours not grant; the daring do 
danger invite, 
And joy in its presence to be; it helps them again to 
escape. 
Reynard said : You tell me the truth, and I give you 
my heartiest thanks 
For the splendid support of your words; if ever again 
I get free, 
I shall bear them in mind. He looked now around, 
and many of kin 
Could in the assemblage be seen, yet few as supporters 
to claim. 
Nearly all he \vas ,vont to ill-treat; with the otters 
and beavers, indeed, 


15 8 



REYNARD THE FOX 


159 


Alike both the great and the small, he had practised 
his villainous tricks; 
Yet discovered he plenty of friends inside of the hall 
of the king. 


In front of the throne he bowed to the earth and 
soberly said: 
l\fay God, froIn WhOIll nothing is hiù, and who ever 
mighty remains, 
Preserve you, IllY lord and IllY king, aud also preserve, 
none the less, 
Our sovereign lady the queen, anù jointly 111ay he ou 
you botH 
Perception and \visdom besto\v, so that you \vith dis- 
cretion Inay now 
Distinguish the right froln the \vrong, for luuch of 
deception there is 
In vogue among men in these days. Thus out\vardIy 
many things seenl 
vVhat, in matter of fact, they are not. Had each Oll 
his forehead engraved 
What he thinks, aud the king should it see, it then 
\vould be clearly revealed 
That utter untruths I do not, and to serve you alll 
always prepared. 
The wicked, I know, do me gravely accuse, a nù \voll1d 
greatly ùelight 
To disarace and out froill your favour to ou
t, a
 if of 
o , J 
the same 
I had un worthy been found. But of justice I kllO\V 
the strong love 
Of my soverpign master and king, for hÏ1n has none 
ever induced 
The way of the law to obstruct, and thus wiII it evpr 
renlaln. 



160 


REYNARD THE FOX 


N ow all of them caIne and pressed in, and everyone 
there ,vas bewitched 
By Reynard's intrepid display, and hÜn was each 
aching to hear. 
His criminal deeds were all known, ho\v then could he 
think to escape ? 


Reynard, you knave, said the king, think not any 
Inore that your words, 
So glibly pronounced, will you save; no longer are 
they of a vail 
To cover deception and lies; your gan1e has now COllle 
to an end. 
Your faithful devotion to me, you have, I believe, well 
evinced 
On the rabbit as well as the crow! Sufficient \vere 
that of itself ; 
But treason you bring into play, whether hOlne or 
abroad you lllay be, 
Your strokes are 111alicious and prompt, yet not any 
further will they 
Be endured, your Ineasure is full; but I will no longer 
reprove. 


Reynard thought: What now can I do? Oh, could I 
again but succeed 
In getting once 1110re to my home! But where shall I 
look for the means? 
However it goes, through with it I must. Let us 
everything try. 


J\10st noLle sovereign, mighty king, he began to hold 
forth, 
If you think I have merited death, then my case you 
assuredly have 



REYNARD THE FOX 


161 


Beheld frorn a \vrong point of view; I therefore Im- 
plore that yuu \vill 
At least hear nle through. Till no\v I have you to 
your profit advised, 
In need I have stood at your side, when sonle, as you 
know, fell away, 
'Vho betvveen us are pushing thenlselves, Iny ruin to 
. try to eff eet, . 
And their chances improve while I am avvay. 'Yith 
theDl you might well, 
Noble king, when I haye to speak been allo\ved, the 
matter adjust. 
After that, if guilty I'm found, my fate I of course 
must endure. 


But'little of me have you thought, while I, all over the 
land, 
In different places about, have the closest of watches 
luaintained. 
Think you that I now should come to the court, if I 
nlyself knew 
To be guilty of great or e'en little misdeeds? With 
pruLleu ce I should 
Have fled frOill the place where you are, and my ene- 
lIlies tried to a void. 

 0 indeed, from my stronghold at home, Illost assuredly 
would 
Not all the world's gold have me here been able to 
tenlpt, for I there 
vVas free on nlY o\vn ground and soil. But in fact 
I no consciousness have 
Of one evil deed that I've done, so here Iny appearance 
have nlade. 
I \vas staying for nought but to \vatch; there brought 
Iue my uncle the news 



r62 


REYNARD THE FOX 


That I ,vas required at the court. I had just Leen 
thinking afresh 
How n1Ïg h1., I get rid of the ball, and thereover, \vith 
l\lartin the ape, 
l\.fuch converse have recently had, who sacredly proln- 
ised he would 
Frolll the incubus get 111e set free. I, lllyself, alli in 
transit to Itolne, 
He ren1arked, and frOln no\v to its end the 11latter I 
full y \vill take 
On nlyself; go you to the court and you shall get rid 
of the ban. 
Lo! thus me did Martin advise, and \vhat he's about 
he lllust know, 
For the en1inent bishop, Lord Waver, hin1 constantly 
has ill enlploy; 
For fully five years has J\lartin hÜn served in judicial 
affairs. 
And thus COlne I here to your court, con1plaint on conl- 
plaint but to find. 
The coney backbites me, the toad; now }{eynard, ho\v- 
ever, is here 
In person hÜnself, so let hin1 COllle forward and speak 
to my face; 
For indeed 'tis an easy affair complaints of the absent 
to brin 0' . 
b' 
But the opposite side must be heard, ere the matter to 
judgn1e'nt shall come. 


Those treacherous comrades of mine! By all that is 
holy, they have 
Thelllselves well enjoyed at IllY hands, the rabbit as 
well as the crow. 
The day before yesterday morn, ere the sun had got up, 
I was met 



REYNARD THE FOX 


16 3 


By the rabbit, who greeted me fair; at that very 
llloment myself 
I in front of III y castle had placed, for reading the 
prayers of the day; 
He nlade nle a ware that he was en route to the court; 
then I said: 
1Iay God yon attend! At this he complained of how 
h ungr)'" and tired 
He had grown. Then friendly I asked: Desire you 
not something to eat? 
With thankfulness I will accept, he replied. I said in 
response: 
I will gladly it give. So I went with him in and, 
quick as could be, 
I cherries and butter produced; for on Wednesdays I 
never eat meat. 
And he ate, to his heart's content, of bread and of 
butter and fruits. 
But no\v the last born of my sons stepped up to 
the table, to see 
If anything over renlained, for children do always love 
food. 
At something the lad made a grab, ,vhen the rabbit 
hin) gave such a blow, 
With suddenness over his mouth, that from lips and 
fronl teeth ran the blood. 
N ow Reinhart, nlY other young son, saw the blow, and 
the hypocrite seized 
Direct by the throat, played ,veIl his own ganle, and 
his brother avenged. 
That happened; not nlore and not less. I tarried not 
long from the spot, 
But ran and chastised the two boys, and managed with 
trouble the In both 
A way from the rabbit to get. His punishment let hin} 
end urea 



16 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Vor he 11lerited lnore than he got, and the youngsters 
could \yell, I am sure, 
Had I any evil desired, have thoroughly finished 
hiul up. 
,A,nd thus he now gives l11e his thanks! He says that 
I pulled off his ear ; 
Yet he ,vas with honour received, a token of which he 
has kept. 


To me, after this, caIne the crow, and his lamentation 
poured forth ; 
His ,vife he had lost, who had eaten too much and her- 
self haù thus killeù, 
F or a fish of a passable size, with all of its bones, she 
had gulped. . 
As to \vhere the Inisfortune occurred, that he can best 
tell; but he says 
That I have her slain. I'll wager he did it himself, 
and if he 
Were earnestly asked if I had it done, his tune he 
,vould change. 
Crows fly up too far In the air, no jump can attain 
such a height. 


If anyone wish to accuse l11e of actions forbidden 
like these, 
Let hinl do it with evidence lawful and just, for thus 
is it fit 
To prosecute worshipful men; this ought I at least to 
expect. 
But if none of this kind can be found, yet another 
resource is at hand; 
11ere ! 1 am prepared for a tilt [ Let the day be 
appointed and place, 
Then let an opponent of worth himself introduce iu 
the list, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


16 5 


With rlle a full equal by birth, then each can proceed 
'with his claÍ111 ; 
Who honour shall gain in the strife, with him let it 
ever remain; 
Things ahvays have thus been set right, and I nothing 
better demand. 


All stood there and heard \v hat he said, and everyone 
at the words 
Of Reynard were greatly surprised, which he had so 
boldly pronoullced. 
...L\.nd as to the raLLit and crow, they Loth were con- 
founded \vith fright; 
They quitted the court and ventured not further to 
utter a \vord ; 
But each to the other relnarked: 'Twuuld not quite 
advisable be 
With hirn any n10re to dispute; all llleans that we 
kno\v \ve nlÏght try, 
And then not be near to success. Who is there that 
saw what he did? 
Alone with the rascal \ve \vere, for \vitness then whonl 
could we get? 
After all the <lisgrace would be ours. For all of his 
nurnberless crirnes 
l\lay the hanglLRn upon hÜn await, and pay hÍ1n as he 
has deserved! 
He \vouId like us in combat to IHeet? That might 
\vith us badly turn out. 
No, in truth 1 that's a thing \ve \vouId rather avoid; 
for nimble and false, 
Deceitful and base, we kno\v hilll to be. Indeed we, 
all five, 
Should not against him be enough, and dearly therefor 
should we pay. 



166 


REYNARD THE FOX 


But Bruin and Isengrim both were ill at their ease; 
they observed, 
With annoyance, the two sneak a\vay from the place. 
The monarch then said: 
If anyone yet has cOluplaint, let hinl conle ! We will 
hear what it is. 
So many but yesterday blamed, h
re stands tbe ac- 
cused ! Wbere are they? 


Quoth Reynard at this: Thus it conlmonly goes; 
either this one or that 
Is impeached, yet, when he conles here, his accusers 
ren1ain at their hOllIes. 
These two little nlischievous rugues, the rabbit and 
like\vise the cro\v, 
'\V ould gladly have Lrought rue to shal11e, and damage 
and punis}llnellt too. 
But no\v they apologies lnake, and I thenl forgive; for, 
indeed, 
They hesitate, now that 1'111 here, and slip aside out 
of the way. 
Ho\v I should haye Inade then} abhalneù! You see 
ho\v \vith dallger 'tis fraught, 
Your ear to the \vretched defaulCl's vf servants not 
present to lend. 
The law they 00 nought Lut pervert, and are hateful 
to all of true worth. 
For the rest only pity I feel, anù care not about thenl 
a straw. 


Attend! said the king upon this, you traitor malicious 
and mean! 
Pray tell us what urged you to this, that Lampen, 
trusted and true, 
Who used ll1Y despatches to bear, you killed in so 
shalneful a way? 



REYNARD THE FOX 


16 7 


Had I not forgiven you all, so far as you ever had sinned? 
}'rom Iue you received both a \vallet and staff, thus 
provided you were 
For a journey to Home and over the sea; you nothing 
I grudged, , 
And hoped for anlendluent fronl you; but now I find 
out, at the 
tart, 
Ho,v Lanlpen of life you deprived, and Bellyn as lues- 
senger lliade 
You to serve, to Lring in the knapsack his head; and 
who, 'v hen he c?-me, 
Said out, before all, that despatches he brought, which 
together had you 
Indited and penned; and you, to the best of his po'wec, 
he had helped; 
And I found ill the knapsack the head, no luore and 
no less than the head. 
This was done in defiance of me, and Bellyn at once I 
retained 
As a pledge, his life was the price, and now \ve \vill 
see about yours. 


Reynard said: \Yhat's this that T hear? Larnpen is 
killed? And I find 
]vIy Bellyn no luore? "'''hat of Ine will become? Oh, 
dead that I "
ere! 
Ah lue! \Vith theln I have lost a treasure unequalled 
in worth. 
I sent you sonle jewels by theIn, nune better nor finer 
than which, 
All over the world, can be founù. \Vho could have 
believed that the ran1 
Would Lanlpen have murdered like this, 'and you of 
those riches have robbed? 
One must be on one's guard, even when no suspicion 
of danger exists. 



168 


REYNARD THE FOX 


In fury, the king would not hear the whole of what 
Reynard would say; 
To his chaIn bel' he turned hÌ1nself off, not having with 
clearness, indeed, 
Reynard's words understood; and hÜn he intended to 
punish \vith death. 
And, as soon as he came to his room, he found in his 
presence the queen, 
Who there, ,vith IJalne Rückenau, stood. Now the 
ape ,vas especially dear 
To king, as ,yell as to queen, which useful to Reynard 
would be. 
Accomplished and prudent she was, and very pro- 
ficient in speech; 
Where'er she appeared, a sensation she Blade, and was 
honoured by all. 
The king's indignation she saw, and to hÜn circum- 
spectly she said: 
When you, gracious Inaster and king, have hearkened 
at times to my suit, 
No cause have you had for regret; you always my 
boldness condoned 
In speaking a quieting word when sOlnething your 
anger had roused. 
At present be likewise disposed to listen to l11e; it 
concerns 
My own proper race, of a truth! And who can one's 
own disavow? 
N ow Reynard, whate'er he n1ay be, is a kinsman of 
rnine, and if I 
Shall frankly confess how his conduct appears unto 
Ine, I Blust say, 
Since now to the law he sublnits, I think very well of 
his case. 
His father, like him, ,vas cOlnpelled, notwithstanding 
the favour of yours, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


16 9 


l\fuch evil fronl venOIllOUS tongues and perjured ac- 
c users to bear ; 
Yet ahvays he put them to shaIlle. So soon as Illore 
closely his case 
Was eX
llllined, quite clear it becanle; but yet did the 
'envious knaves 
Try even his lllel'its to 111ake as heinous transgressions 
appear. 
Thus eyer hinlself he Inaintained in greater esteem at 
the court 
Than Bruin and IsengrÜll no\v; indeed, 't\vere of these 
to be \vished 
That they should be able to cast the grievances all on 
OIle siùe, 
That are constantly heard about thenl; but little do 
they appl'ehen( 1 
Of justice aud right, as is sho\vn by their counsel as 
well as their life. 


Here answered, however, the king: But ho\v can it 
cause you surpnse, 
That I aln with Reynard provoked? The thief who, a 
short tÜne ago, 
Put Lampen to death, led Bellyn astray, and \vith 
insolence DO\V 
All flatly denies, and hinlself, as a servant straight- 
for\vard and true, 
Has boldness enough to extol! In the Illeantime do 
all as one nlan 
Raise \vith loud voices' complaints, and only too clearly 
sho\v forth 
How he IllY safe-conduct defies, and also ho\" he, with 
his thefts, 
His robbiugs and 11lurders, the land and Iny faithful 
retainers despoils. 



17 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Indeed, I'll no longer it Lear! In answer thereto said 
the ape: 
In truth not to n1any is granted the gift, in things of 
all kinds, 
To act with discretion and counsel with skill, and he 
who succeeds 
'ViII certainly confidence earn, but the envious try aH 
th ey can 
To covertly do hirn a hurt; and, soon as their l1lunLers 
In crease, 
They openly mak(l their attelnpts. With Reynard it 
often has thus 
Of yore con1e about; they cannot, however, efface frOlll 
our Ininds 
Ho\v he has you wisely advised in cases 'v here others 
were dlllnb. 
You know (it but lately took place) ho\v the luan and 
the serpent caIne here 
To solicit your aid, and the case there was none ,vho 
knew how to decide; 
But Reynard discovered a way, and you lauded him 
then before all. 


To this did the monarch rejoin, after brief llleditatioll 
thereon: 
I renleníLel' the 111atter quite ,veIl, yet now it has gone 
fron1 my mind 
How in detail it all came about; it ,vas somewhat 
entangled, nlethinks. 
If you can still say how it was, 1 gladly shall hear 
your account. 
She answered the king: As my lord has cOlnmanded 
so shall it be done. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


17 1 


Just t\VO years ago or about, a dragon appeared and 
complained, 
With turmoil, to you, gracious lord, that a peasant 
could not be induced 
Himsalf to submit to the la,v; a man against WhOIl1 
the ùecree 
Had twice been pronounced. To the court of your 
highness the peasant she brought, 
And stated the matter at length, with numerous VIO- 
lent ,vords. 


Through a hole, that she found in a hedge, the serpent 
intended to cra,vl, 
But got herself caught in a cord, that in front of the 
breach had been hung; 
Ever tighter was getting the loop, and there she her 
life ,vonld have lost, 
Had not, at the opportune tin1e, a vagrant been passing 
along, 
In anguish to hiln she cried out: Have pity and hell> 
llle get free, 
I entreat! To this the man said: I
eleased, I will see 
that you are, 
For your misery causes me grief; but first you must 
give Jne your word, 
No nlÎschief on me to inflict. The serpent agreed to 
his ternlS, 
And s,vore the most solemn of oaths that she, in 1:0 
manner or way, 
Would harm to he; rescuer do, and thus did the man 
set her free. 
A while on together they walked; but the serpent was 
feeling, at length, 
The gna ,vings of hunger, and flew at the man, ,vith 
intent hirn to choke 



17 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And devour; and in fear and alarm the poor fenow 
sprang frOlH her side. 
Is this Iny reward? This have I deserve,d? he cried, 
and did you 
Not s,vear the most sacred of oaths? The serpent 
then said ill reply: 
My hunger ilnpels me, alas! I have no control of 
myself ; 
Nola 'v does necessity kno,v; it constitutes right of 
itself. 


In turn then responded the man: Keep off from me 
only so long 
As we to sonle people may come, who us will impar- 
tiall y j u c1ge. 
And thereupon answered the worm: Till then I will 
patience preserve. 


Thus further a distance they went, and over the water 
they found 
Cutpurse, the raven, along with his son, ,vho Croker 
was caned; 
And the serpent invited them both to draw near, and 
thus them invoked: 
Come here, we have something to say. The raven 
them soberly heard, 
And judgment at once he pronounced, the luan to 
ingest. Thus he hoped 
A luorsel to get for himself. l\luch pleased was the 
serpent at this; 
Lo! now I have triumphed, she said, and none can the 
blalne lay on 111e. 
Not so, then responded the man, my case is not utterly 
lost; 
Shall a robber pass sentence of death, or one judge 
alone try the case? 



REYNARD THE FOX 


173 


I delnand that it further be heard, as equity me doth 
allow; 
By four, or by ten if you please, let the matter be 
brought to be heard. 


The serpent then saiù: Let us go. They went, and 
were nlet on the road, 
By the wolf and the bear, and together they all of 
them walked
 
The peasant no\v everything feared; for bÜn in the 
Inidst of the five 
It dangero1ls \Vas to remain, seeing what kind of fel- 
luws they were. 
The serpent, the ravens, the wolf, and the bear benulled 
hi ill in all around; 
And anxious enough he became, for soon did the \yoU 
and the bear 
J\lake up both together their nÜnds, in this way their 
juclgrnent tu give: 
The serpent Inight slaughter the III an, as a ravenous 
cra vill u for food 
b 
Acknow leùgeù no nlaxÜn or law; one's needs would 
absolve frorn all oath. 
N ow fear and concern 011 the tl'aveUer seized, for they 
all in accord 
Were after his life. Then the serpent flew out with a 
furious hiss, 
Spitting upon hinl her spleen, and in terror he sprang 
to one siùe. 
Great wron 0' he exclain1e(1 , yun conI rnit , . who y ou has 
b' 
 
seen fit to assign, 
As master and lord of IllY l;f \? You heard what was 
said, she replied. 
Decided the jlHlges IHn t t" il'l , [!lul as often your case 
you have lost. 



174 


REYNARD THE FOX 


To her then responded the man: They plunder and pil- 
fer, thelllseives ; 
I acknowledge theIll not in the least, the case we \vill 
take to the king; 
'Vhen he speaks, I'll subn1Ït to his words, and if I the 
loser corne out, 
In bad enough plight shall I be; I will it, however, 
enùure. 
The \volf anù the bear then nlockingly said: This plan 
you can try; 
The serpent will certainly 'Vill, anù better can she 
, nothing wish. , 
They thought that the lords of the court, in session, 
would surely decide 
As had they; and they went in good cheer, the peasant 
escorting along. 
Before you they caIne, the serpent, the ravens, the wolf, 
and the bear; 
Yea, a triplet of wolves ,vas disclosed, for two of his 
chilùrell he brought; 
Allbelly ,vas one of thenl called, and Glutton the other. 
These t wu 
l\lost trou hIe occasioned the lnan; for ,vith the intent 
had they come 
Theil' O\Vll proper share to conSUllle, for ever rapacIous 
they are. 
With rudeness unbearable then, before you they bel- 
lowed and howled, 
U util you expelled frOln the court both of the ill-man- 
nereù churls. ' 
Then the man to your n1ercy appealed, and proceeded 
his tale to relate: 
Ho,v to kill him the serpent had thought; and ho,v 
she his generous act 
Haù forgotten, and broken her oath; so safety he 
sought at your hands. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


175 


And the snake contradicted hin1 not: l\ly hunger's 
oruuipotent need, 
'\Vhich knows not the meaning of la ,v, irresistibly me 
did co Illpel. 


GooJ lord, you ,vere greatly perplexed; the Inatter in 
hand to you seellled 
To the LrÜn with suspicion to be, and judicially hard to 
decide; 
For to you very harsh it appeared, the kind-hearted 
Ulan to condenlu, 
'Yho hirnself had Leneficent shown; on the other hand 
still, you bethought 
Of the ruischievous hunger as ,veIl; yon therefore the 
council cOllvukell. 
Alas! the opinion of lliost the claÍln of the nWll wa
 
against, 
For they had au eye to the feaf-'L, awl thought they the 
serpent \vould help. 
But heralds to Reynard you sent, for all of the others, 
indeed, 
lTttered nlore ,vords than enough, yet the case could 
not rightly resolve. 
Reynard came and the evidence heard; to hinl the de- 
cision you left; 
As he on the matter should rule, even so should the 
la w be enforced. 


Reynard, with prudence, then said: It needful I find, 
before all, 
l\lyself to betake to the place, that the snake in her 
bonds I n1ay see, 
· Just as the peasant her found; after that, my decision 
I'll give. 



17 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The serpent was bound then afresh in the self-same 
position and way 
As across her the peasant had come, 'when her in the 
hedge he had found. 
When this had been done, Reynard said: Here now we 
finù each of the twu 
In foruler condition again, not either has \von or has lost; 
Yet the right is lnade perfectly plain, as seelns it to rne, 
uf itself ; 
:For, provided the ruan shall see fit, he no\v can the ser- 
pent once lliore 
Release frOlll her place in the cord; if not, he can there 
let her hang; 
He free and \vith honour can go, his business to seek 
and transact. 
Since she so untrue has become, \vhen his kinùness she 
deign ed to accept, 
The nlan has no\v fairly the choice; to HIe that 
appears the intent 
Of the law; who it better conceives, may no\v let us 
heal' what it is. 
The verdict \vas pleasing to you, and all of your coun- 
cil as well; 
Reynard \vas eulogised nl uch; you \vere thanked by 
the peasant; and all 
The \yisdom of Heynard extolled; the queen also 
praised hinl herseH. 
Much talk there \vas n1ade at the time, how forrnerly 
you had, in \yar, 
Both Bruin and Isengrim used; and ho\v, far and \vide, 
they \vere feared, 
:For al\vays \vere they to be found where plenty there 
was to devour. 
Burly and daring and strong, none could deny that 
they were, 


. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


177 


Yet often 1n counsel was felt the lack of some 111uch 
needed sense, 
For they are accustollled too much on physical force 
to rely. 
When ,york in the field is approached, nluch lalnenep,:
 
and halting there is. 
Bolder can one not appear, than show they thenlsel yes 
when at h01ne; 
Outside they are ready in ambush to lie; but, if once 
are exchanged 
Sturdy blo\ys, they then will be found neither better 
nor \vorse than the next. 
The bears and the wolves destroy the whole land, and 
little they care 
Whose house is ,consumed by the flames. They ever 
accustolll thelllseives 
To go and get \varm at the coals, and pity for none do 
they feel, 
If only their lllaws they can fill. The eggs they all 
swallo\v themselves, 
And leave but the shells to the poor, and think such 
division is fair. 
On the other hand Reynard, the fox, and all of his 
race cOll1prehend 
What wisdom and counsel imply; and, if now he has 
done son1ething \vrong, 
Gracious lord, yet is he no stick. Be sure that no 
other \vill you 
Ever give any better advice: For this, grant him par- 
don,.I beg. 


To this then responded the king: Upon it I'll think. 
The decree 
Was given as you have described; the serpent the 
penalty paid. 



17 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Yet remains he a scanlp, every inch, without any 
chance to refonn. 
If a compact with him should be made, deception at 
last will result, 
For in proving that black is but \vhite, \vho is there 
can lnatch hi In in skill ? 
The wolf and the bear and the cat, the rabbit and even 
the crow, 
Are not for hÍ1n agile enough, he brings thenl to shame 
and disgrace; 
From this one he snatches an ear, fronl another he 
tears out an eye, 
And a third he deprives of his life. I certainly cannot 
conceIve 
How you can thus favour the scamp, and speak in 
defence of his acts. 
Gracious lord, then responded the ape, it irnpossible is 
to deny 
That his race is exalted and great. Thereon it is well 
to reflect. 


Then up rose the king to go out, and all of those \vho 
\vere there, 
In a body awaiting hilll stood. In the circle thus 
formed he observed 
A nUlllber to Reynard most closely allied who all had 
arri ved 
Their kinsl1lan to shield and protect; so many to name 
would he hard. 
And he the great fan1ily saw; he then, on the other 
side, saw 
The enernies n,eynard had nlade; divided it seemed 
was the court. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


179 


In this way the Inonarch began: Give ear to me, 
Reynard! Can you 
An excuse for such wickedness find, as, with Bellyn's 
assistance, to put 
::\ly innocent Lalnpen to death and, in your audacity, too, 
II is head in the \vallet to thrust, as if to nle letters you 
sent? 
To lnock lue that deed you perforn1ed; I have pun- 
ished already the one, 
The penalty Bellyn has paid, and you may the sallle 
n O\v expect. 


Ah, nle! ans\Y
red Reynard thereto; oh, would that I 
al:so \vere dead! 
Pray hearken to 1ne, and then you can do as the case 
Ula y den1and. 
If guilty, then slay nle at once; I shall never, how- 
ever, get free 
}-"roln In y burden of grief and distress; forlorn I rnust 
ahvays ren1ain. 
For Bellyn the traitor's purloined the choicest of 
treasures frOll1 nle, 
The equal of which never yet hasrnortal his eyes set upon. 
Ah, life to poor I.Ja1lJpen they've cost! These treas- 
ures I had to thenl both 
COllullitted in charge; no\v Bellyn has stolen the costly 
effects. 
But let thenl yet further be sought; however, I very 
much fear 
That none \yill e'er find them again; they'll rest for 
eternity lost. 


To this did the 111 on key reply: '\Vhy give you thus \vay 
to despair ? 
Be they hut on top uf the gruun(l, to reeover thelu yet 
there is hope; 



180 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Roth early and late will we go, and of laymen and 
clerics with zeal 
"\Vill inquire. But first let us know, of what did the 
treasures consist? 


Reynard said: So precious they were, that ne'er can 
\ve find them again. 
"\Vho possesses thenl now will guard them with care. 
How much at the loss 
'Vill lny wife, Danle Ernlelyn, grieve! She will never 
forgive 111e for this, 
For me she tried hard to dissuade fronl entrusting such 
riches to them. . 

 o\v lies are against 111e trumped up, and I anI I110st 
basely accused; 
But still I nlY rights \vill defend, and the issue await; 
and if then 
Acquitted I aU1, I \vill travel about through kingdonls 
and lanùs, 
And endeavour the treasures to find, even though it 
shall cost me my life. 



CANTO TEN. 


My king, furthern10re said the fox, that villain so 
crafty in speech, 
Pern1Ït nle, illustrious prince, in the ears of my friends 
to relate 
,\Yhat conlprised all the sumptuous things that I had 
trallsn1itted to you; 
Though them you rnay not have received, yet laudable 
\vas my intent. 
Go ahead then, responded the king, and whatever you 
say, make it short. 


,V' ell-being and honour are lost! And everything now 
you shall learn, 
Said Reynard, ,vith sadness of tone. The first of the 
beautiful gems 
Was a ring, which to Bel1yn I gave, and he should the 
same to the king 
Have brought and surrendered from me. In a lllost 
unaccountable ,vay 
This ring was designed and composed, and 'worthy it 
was in the \vealth 
Of nlY sovereign's treasure to shine, being made of the 
finest of gold. 
On the innern10st side of this gem, that next to the 
finger \vould be, 
'Vere letters engraved to be seen, enamel1ed in blue and 
in black; 
Three Hebrew cognomens they fornled, of significance 
special and great; 
18. 



182 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And none in this land could explain \vhat meaning lay 
hidden therein; 
1\-laster Abrion only, of Treves, could decipher the SYlll- 
bols for HIe. 
Now he is an erudite Jew, and every language and 
tongue 
He kno\vs, that is spoken by Inan fronl Lüueberg unto 
Poitou; 
And is also especial1y skilled in the virtues of herbs 
and of stones. 


, 
When placed J before him the rÍng, he Raid that nlost 
preciouF; of things 
vVere hidden within its embrace; that tIle nanles, 
which therein were engraved, 
'\Vere carried by Seth, the devout, frOIlI Paradise do\yn 
to the earth, 
\Vhen the oil of con1passion he songht; anù \,,-ho on 
his finger it wears, 
Finds free from all dangers hinlse1f; not thunder nor 
lightning nor all 
The mage's enchantments can hurt, while this on his 
person J1e keeps. 
And further the Blaster ohserved that, at sonle time or 
other, he'd read 
That who kept on his finger the ring, could not, in the 
fiercest of cold,. 
Be frozen to death, but would certainly live to a 
peaceful old age. 
Outside it a genl had been set, a carbuncle brilliant 
and clear, 
Which glistened so brightly at night, that things could 
be seen as by day. 
l\fany virtues belonged to this stone; all kinds of dis- 
eases it healed; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


18 3 


'Yho caIne into contact there'with, \vas exenlpt frolll all 
\van t and distress ; 
Death \vas the only thing it had not the po\ver to 
subdue. 
Still further the llHìster disclosed the 111agnificent gifts 
of the stone; 
Its o\vner in safety can go throughout all the lands of 
the earth; 
Neither \vater liar fire call him hurt; Ílllprisoned, ur 
eVt'n betrayed, 
He never can be, and frolH all the assaults of a foe he 
esca pes. 
If, fasting, he looks on the stone, in battle he certainly 
\vill 
A hUlldreù and 1110re overcome; by the potency too of 
the stone, 
Is the action of poisons annulled, and nlalignant secre- 
tiOllS as \vell. 
So also it hatred destroys; ho\v Inany soever there be, 
Who do its possessor not love, they shortly a change 
undergo. 


But who coulù enUluerate all the virtues and powers 
of the stone, 
That I founù in Iny father's reserve, and I, to Iny mas- 
ter the kin 0- 
, 0' 
N ow thought in all safety to send? For of such a 
Inagllificent ring 
I \vorthr \vas not; I kne\v it right \vell; it ought tu 
belon 0' 
0' 
I thought, to the one who, of right, is held as the 
noblest, of all. 
On him, and none other, depend our welfare and prop- 
erty hoth ; 
Alld I cherished the hope that his life I might frolll 
all evil protect. 



18 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


J\Ioreover was Bellyn, the ra ill, in addition thereto, to 
the queen, 
A Inirror and comb to present, to keep in remembrance 
of nle. 
These both had I once, out of sport, from my father's 
collection removed, 
And not on the face of the earth could a work of art 
finer be found. 
How oft has endeavoured my wife thenl both to obtain 
for herself ! 
For nothing so lliuch did she long, of all that there is 
in the \vorld; 
And about thenl contentions we had, but my purpose 
she never could change. 
...L\.t length both the n1Ïrror and comb, with best of 
intention, I sent 
To my gracious lady, the queen, who always and ever 
to nle 
The utmost of favour has shown, and shielded fronl 
hafln of all kinds. 
She often has spoken for me a mild and benevolent 
word; 
She is noble, exalted in birth, by virtue enrobed and 
adorned, 
And .her ancient descent is proclainled by actions as 
\vell as by words. 
She was worthy the mirror and cornb, on which, to nlY 
sorro\v and shanle, 
She has' not been allowed to set eyes. ]"01' ever, alas, 
they are lost! 


Now to say a few words of the CODIb: The artist, this 
" com b to construct, 
Had the bones of a panther employed, a glorious crea- 
ture's remains, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


18 5 


'Vhose place of abode is the land fronl Paradise unto 
the Ind. 
All species of colours are shown in its skin, and the 
s\veetest of scents 
Are thence given out, 'wherever it turns; and thus do 
th e beasts 
Instinctively follow its tracks, wherever it be that it 
goes; 
}"or healthy they grow from this scent and, without 
an exception, they all 
Are imbued \vith a knowledge of this. Of sinews and 
bones such as these 
\Vas the beautiful conlb, that I sent, constructed with 
wonderful skill ; 
Like silver in ,vh
teness and gleam, of ineffable purity, 
too; 
Aud better, by far, was its scent than cinnanlon even 
and cloves. 
When the animal passes froni life, the aroma goes into 
its bones, 
Remains everlastingly there, and al,vays thenl keeps 
from decay; 
It drives all distelnpers away, and against all the poi- 
sons is proof. 
Again, on the back of the comb could excellent pictures 
be seen, 
Quite high in relief, with delicate tendrils of gold in- 
ter laced, 
...4..nd lazuli, azure, and gules. In the middlemost part 
of the field 
Was the story insculptured with art, how Priam's son, 
Paris of Troy, 
Was sitting one day at a brook, and three WOll1en, 
seraphic and fair, 
Before him he saw, who Pallas and Juno and Venus 
were called. 



186 


REYNARD THE FOX 


In strife they had long been engaged, for each of them 
wished to possess 
An apple that, up to this time, conjointly to thenl had 
belonged. 
At length an agreeillent was lllade, that Paris this 
apple of gold 
Should on the most lovely bestow, and she should 
alone it retain. 


The youth regarded them all with the greatest atten- 
tion and care. 
Now Juno remarked: If the apple I get, and if me 
you adjudge 
The fairest to be, you the richest of 'all in the world 
shall become. 
And l\1inerva rejoined: Deliberate well, and the apple 
gIve nle; 
Then you the most potent of men shall beconle, and 
dreaded by all 
Wherever your nanle may be kno,vn, alike by your 
friends and your foes. 
Venus spake: \Vhat want you with power? And 
riches, ,vhat good will they do? 
Are you not the ransomed one's son? And as to your 
brothers, are they, 
Hector and all of the rest, not wealthy and strong in 
the land? 
Is Troy not secured by its hosts, and I also may ask 
if you have 
Not conquered the land round about, as ,veIl as more 
far a\vay folk? 
If nle you the fairest pronounce, and the apple confer 
upon me, 
You then shall have cause to rejoice in a treasure the 
greatest on earth. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


18 7 


This prize is an excellent wife, of women the fairest 
of aU, 
So virtuous, noble, and wise, that none can too highly 
her praise. 
Give the apple to lne, and you shall the \vife of the 
King of the Greeks, 
The beautiful Helen J lllean, that treasure of treasures, 
possess. 


Then gave he the apple to her, and adjudged her the 
fairest of all. 
And she aided hinl, in return, to elope ,vith the beauti- 
ful queen, 
The great l\lenelaus's wife, whom he had in Troy for . 
his o\vn. 
This story ,vas seen in relief, in the n1Ïddlmuost part 
of the field; 
And all round about it were shields, with writings 
in sculptured \vith art; 
And only had one theIn to read, the gist of the fable 
to know. 


Of the mirror I further \vill speak; in lieu of a surface 
of glass, 
A reflector of beryl was used, of wonderful beauty and 
sheen ; 
All things thereupon were revealed, even though a nlile 
off they occurred, 
Were it either by day or by night. And if, in one's 
face, there should be 
A blemish, \vhatever it \vas, if nought but a fleck in the 
eye, 
Should one in the mirror but look, fronl that very 
in
tant there fled 
Imperfections away of all kinds, and every extrinsic 
defect. 



188 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Can you nlarvel that I am sore grieved at having the 
mirror thus lost? 
For setting the plate was employed the costliest wood 
to be found, 
'Vhich shittim is called, so named from its solid and 
glittering gro\vth ; 
It is never infected by worms, and also, in justice, 
it is 
1fore highly regarded than gold, with ebony only as 
next. 
There once out of this was contrived, by an artist of 
skill and renOWll, 
In the tinle of I{rornpardus the king, a horse of 
relnarkable powers, 
Which its rider, in less than an hour, could take for a 
hundred good Illiles. 
I find it iInpossible no\v to tell all there is to be told, 
]'01' not such a steed has been known, so long as the 
world has endured. 


For the space of a foot and a half, entirely around, was 
the franle 
Of the mirror embellished with work, all carved in the 
best style of art; 
And in letters of gold could be seen, under each of the 
pictures inscribed, 
The meaning and purport thereof; and I will these 
stories to you 
Concisely relate. The first was regarding the envious 
horse, 
Who thought that he would, for a bet, compete in a 
run with a stag, 
But was left far behind in the race, which gave him 
inordinate pain; 
And a speedy occasion he took \vith a shepherd about 
it to talk. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


18 9 


He said: It shall profit you much, if 111e you will 
quickly obey; 
If you lllount, I will give you a ride; there has, but a 
short tiIlle ago, 
A stag bid hinlself in the wood, and him you shall 
surely oLtain ; 
His flesh and his antlers and skin you can sell at a 
very high price; 
Get up, and \ve will him pursue. All right! I alll 
ready to go, 
Said the rustic, and sprang on his back. They gal- 
loped a \vay from the place, 
And shortly got sight of the stag; then followed they 
OIl at full speeù 
In his track, and gave hiIn ptll"
iÜL. But the stag ,vas 
the lighter of foot, 
And the pace was too much for the horse, who finally 
said to the man: 
Get down for awhile, I am tired, and greatly have 
net'Ll ()f some rest. 
No, tha!lk you, responùed the man, Ylltl llO\V will have 
llie to obey, 
And 111Y ::;pur you shall feel in your flank, for me yon 
invited yourself 
To get on your back for a ride; and thus him the 
rider subdued. 
. 
Lo! thus with much ill is repaid the one who doth 
others design 
To lead into harm; himself he but loads with evil and 
paul. 


I now will still further explain \vhat yet on the 
mirror was shown; . 
Ho\v together an ass and a dog into service with Dives 
had gone. 



19 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The dog had, without any doubt, the pet of his master 
become, 
.For he sat at his table at meals, and partook of the 
food that was served; 
And was also permitted to snuggle and rest in his 
guardian's lap, 
Who him was accustomed to feed \yith the finest of 
bread; in return 
The dog \vas incessantly licking his master, and 
wagging his tail. 
Now J3ald\vin observed the good luck of the dog, and, 
arievin a at heart 
o 0 , 
The donkey then said to hÜnself: Oh, \vhy does DIY 
In aster incline 
That inùolent creature to treat in a way so excessively 
kind ? 
Upon him the anin1al springs and licks hin1 all over 
his beard, 
\rhile I n1ust the labour perfornl, and to carry the 
sacks arn conlpelled. 
Just let hin1 make trial but once, and see if, with five 
or with ten 
Dogs, as much in a year he can do, as I can get done 
in a month. 
Yet the hest is provided for hÏ1n, \vhile I have to feed 
npon stra\v, . 
And on the hard ground IllUst repose; and, \vherever 
it be that they dl'i,-e 
1\le or ride, I aIll scoffed at and lllocked. I can, and I 
will, such abuse 
No longer endure; DlY Inaster's affection I too \vill 
acq uue. 
Now just as he ended this speech, his Inaster appeared 
in the street. 
The donkey erected his tail and kicked up his heels; 
with a spring 



REYNARD THE FOX 


19 1 


.A.t his Blaster he leaped, lJl'aying and singing auù Llal'- 
iuO' with llliuht . 
b b' 
Licked his beard and displayed a desire, in the lnallnel' 
and way of a ùog, 
To nestle up close to his cheeks, and bruised hinl son1e- 
what \vith his kicks. 
In terror his nlastel' ran off, and crieù: Oh, catch 1He 
the ass! 
Strike hinl dead! His servants then canle, and thickly 
upon hÜn fell blows. 
HÜn into !1Ïs stable tliey drove, and there he a donkey 
renlalllS. 


There many are still to be Inet, of the selfsame asinine 
breed, 
Who the ,velfare of others begrudge, without doing 
good to themselves. 
However, should any such one to a state of great 
riches attain, 
At once he resenlbles a pig, ,vho should try to eat soup 
,vith a spoon; 
Not very Illuch better, in truth. The donkey let carry 
the sacks, 
Have nothing but straw for his bed, and find alTIOng 
thistles his food. 
If one shall hÍln otherwise treat, he \vill still ever 
be as of old. 
When an ass to dominion attains, it can Illeet with but 
little success ; 
His welfare he seeks to advance, and what beyond this 
does he care ? 


My king, there is more you should kno\v, and at the 
recital I beg 
That you take not offence; on the frame of the 11lÎlTOl' 
could also be seen, 



19 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


'VeIl fashioned anù clearly described, how my father 
did, once on a tÏ1ne, 
Himself with our Ty Lert engage upon som e ad ventures 
to go ; 
And how they both sacredly swore that, in all kinds of 
danger, they \\ ould 
One another with valour support, and all of their booty 
divide. 
As for\vard they went on their way, they noticed some 
hunters and hounds, 
Not very far off frOin the road; and Tybert, the cat, 
then re lnarked : 
({ood counsel seeins costly to get! To this did my 
pater respond: 
Though odd it 111ay very \Ven seem, yet with excellent 
counsel have I 
l\fy pocket already Blade full; and we must relnember 
our oath, 
Together to steadfastly hold; of all, most itnportant is 
that. 
On the other hand, Ty bert replied: However the thing 
may turn out, 
There remains yet a n1eans to nle known, and that 
I intend to employ. 
And thus up a tree he \vith liveliness sprang, in order 
to save 
Himself fro III the rage of the dogs; and thus he 
his uncle forsook. 
In terror iny father stood there, and the hunters \vere 
comIng apace. 
Quoth Tybert: N ow, uncle, how goes it with you? 
Throw open the sack. 
Of counsel it's full, make use of it now, for your time 
has arrived. 
The huntsmen sounded their horns, and one to another 
they called: 



REYNARD THE FOX 


193 


1Iy father then ran, so also tbe hounds; they followed 
\vith yelps, 
And he s\veaLed all over \viLh fear, enriching the 
ground as he went. 
He thus \vas relieved of some 'weight, and so he escaped 
frolll his foes. 


l\Iost basely, as you have just heard, deceived him his 
nearest of kin, 
The one \VhOnl he trusted the most. His life in great 
jeopardy was, 
For the dogs \vere swifter than he; and, had he not 
quickly bethought 
Himself of a hole that he knew, he certainly ",-ould 
ha ve been killed ; 
But he slipped hÜl1self llÜnbly within, and thus to his 
foes he \vas lost. 
l\fany more of 
uch fello\vs there are, as Ty bert was 
then, to his shaille, 
To my father so clearly revealed; ho\y could I him 
honour and love? 
I have it half pardoned indeed, yet sOlnething still 
. raukles behind. 
This all on the lllirror was carved, with pictures allù 
writings thereon. 


In addition to this \vas displayed an accurate scene of 
the wolf; 
Showing what kind of return for favours he's ready to 
gl ve. 
He found in a Ineadow a horse, nothing of which but 
the bones 
Had been left; but a-hungered he ,vas, and greedily 
nib Lied at these; 
Till a pointed one stuck in his throat, and askew in his 
gullet got fixed. 



194 


REYNARD THE FOX 


A deplorable figure he cut; for hin1 it had badly turned 
out. 
Runner on runner he sent, the surgeons to call to his 
aid; 
But no one could give him relief, notwithstanding 
gigantic re\vards 
He offered to all ,,
ho should try. The crane, in the 
end, was announced, 
With the red-coloured cap on his head, and him did 
the sick one implore: 
Ob, doctor, relieve 111e at once of the fearful distress I 
am In ; 
If the bone you pull out of IllY throat, I will give you 
whatever you wish. 


So trusted the crane in his words, that he pluckily 
stuck in his beak, 
With his head, in the jaws of the wolf, and pulled out 
the bone. 
Oh, dear! howled the wolf, ho\v you hurt! you are 
doing me damage, I kno,v. 
Let it not happen again! F or the present, I will 
it forgive. 
Had it been any other than you, I would it not 
patiently hear. 
Be tranquil, responded the crane, for now you again 
are quite ,veIl; 
Give DIe the fee that I've earned; to you I have been 
of great help. 
N ow hark to the fool, said the wolf, 'tis I who have 
suffered the harm, 
Yet he Inakes a claim for reward, forgetting the favour 
that I, 
This instant, have granted to him. Have I not his 
noddle and beak, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


195 


Just no\y that I had ill In)" 111outh, released \vithout 
doing hiln harrn 1 
Has the hoyden not given me pain? I had very good 
reason inùeed, 
If reward is our subject of talk, to denland it myself 
in advance. 
Thus knaves are accustomed to deal \vith those who 
then1 faithfully serve. 


All graven with excellent skill, these stories, with 
others, adorned 
The frame of the mirror all round, \vith ulany an orna- 
lnent carved, 
And many inscriptions in gold. Of the priceless 
jewel, myself 
As unworthy I thought, too ignoble I arn, and it there- 
fore I sent 
To IllY sovereign lady, the queen. I was hopeful, by 
means such as this, 
To her and her consort, the king, lllyself reverential to 
show. 
1\fy children were very rnnch grieved, those two little 
well-n1annered boys, 
When gave T the 111Ïrror away; to junlp and to play 
they "'ere used, 
In front of the glass, where liked they to look at thenl- 
sel ves and th eir tails, 
Hanging belo\v froin their backs, and laughed at their 
own little nlouths. 
Of the trustworthy Lampen, alas! I little expected 
the death, 
When I unto Bellyn and him the treasure, in fulness 
of faith, 
Without reservation consigned, for as hone
t I looked 
on theln both; 



19 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


No better or worthier friends did I think that I ever 
could have. 
Let us woe on the murderer call! I've made up my 
mind to find out 
Who has the treasures concealed; no slayer shall hid- 
den remain. 
1\1:ore than one in this circle, perhaps, is able to give 
us the name 
Of the spot where these riches were put, and tell us 
how Lan1pen was slain. 


My beneficent king, I'nl aware that daily before you 
are broll gh t 
So many in1portant affairs, that you canllot renleIuber 
theln all. 
Yet, haply, you still bear in rnind the elninellt service 
,vhich he, 
]vIy father, once rendered to yours, in the place where 
at present I speak; 
Your father lay sick unto death, and mine his life 
managed to save; 
And yet you here freely assert that neither IllY father 
nor I 
To you any good ever did. Be pleased me still further 
to hear; 
And permit n1e, I beg, to relate how always, at your 
father's court, 
Mine ,vas at all times received with honour anù dig- 
nity great, 
As a worthy physician of skill. The patient's condi- 
tion he knew, 
With cleverness, how to inspect; and nature could 
ahvays assist; 
And whatever was wrong, with eyes or aught else, he 
was able to heal. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


197 


\Vell knew of emetics the gifts, and moreover did well 
understand 
All rnatters concerning the teeth, and the aching 
extracted \vith ease. 
I gladly Ünagine it'
 gone frorll your n1Ïnd; that would 
cause 110 surpnse, 
As you then \vere but three years of age. To his bed 
\vas your father confineù} 
In \\.inter, in exquisite pain, nigh greater then he could 
endure; 
And he of hÏ1nself could not move. Than all the 
physicians he had 
C011vokeù bet\Veell Itonle and this place; and they, 
\vith ullanÏ1uous voice, 
Had given hiIn up as past aid. J\ly father ,vas sum- 
nloned at last, 
Who heard all about his distress, and the cause of his 
illness discerned. 


J\ly father lamented it nluch, and about it he said to 
the king: 
Beneficent nlaster and lord, I \vould risk, oh, how 
gladly, rllY life, 
If yours, in this way, I could save. I \vish that you 
l11e would pern1Ït 
Your synlptolns to test in a glass. His request was 
allowed by the king, 
Who also conlplaincd that the longer they waited the 
worse he becanle. 
On the 11lirror \vas brought into vie\v, how now, by 
good fortune, at once, 
Your father's distemper \vas cured. For n1Ïne \vith 
discretion relnarked : 
If health you desire to regain, determine, without lo
s 
of time, 



19 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


From off a ,volf's liver to dine; the \,"olf, ho\vever, 
must Le 
Full seven years old at the least, and the liver entire 
you n1ust eat. 
You dare not refuse it to do, for your life is concerned 
in the act, 
The glass contains nothing but bluod., so lllake up your 
Iuind \vith despatch. 
With those round about was the wolf, WhOlll this did 
no pleasure afford. 
Your father llU\V spoke in this \vise: You all have 
heard \vhat is required! 
N O\V listen, Sir W oU ! That I nlay get ,veIl, you will 
not, I anl sure, 
Your liver refuse to give up. To hÜn then responded 
the wolf : 
Not yet anI I five years of age; what guod. ",
ill nlY 
liver effect? 
Sheer nonsellse, my father replied, we \viU not be ob- 
structed by that; 
I soon by your liver can tell. The wolf was COIn- 
nlanded to take 
His plaee in the kitchen Lelow, and useful his liver 
was found. 
Your father devoured it forthwith, alld, as soon as he 
s wallo\veù it down, 
Relieved frOIH his sickness he was, and all other ail- 
ments as well. 
My father profusely he thanked, and all at the court 
,vere cOlnpelled 
Him as Doctor hen ceforth to address, and none should 
it ever forget. 
My father was constantly now at the right of the king 
to be found. 
To him did your father present, as I most reliably know, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


199 


Very shortly, a locket of gold, and also a cnmson 
barette, 
To wear before all of the lords; and thus, from that 
tinle until no\v, 
Have all held him high in esteeln. With his son, how- 
ever, have things 
Assumed an unfortunate change: his father's great vir- 
tues and gifts 
In relnenl brance no longer are held. The IDOSt 
a varicious of knaves 
Are advanced, and all thought is bestowed on advan- 
taae and (fain' 
o b' 
Wisdo1l1 and jURtice are pushed to the rear, and our 
servants become 
Our lTIOSt arrogant lords, \vhile the poor, as a rule, 
Blust suffer for this. 
If such gets dOluinioll and power, he strikes out 
blindly, all round, 
Arnong all the people he rule
, and his birth he com- 
pletely forgets; 
His profit he seeks to extract from every game that is 
pIa yed. 
Among the exalted we see not a few such as those I've 
described; 
To entreaty they never give ear, if donations are not to 
be found 
Profusely connected there\vith; and, if they the people 
instruct, 
It means only pay, no matter the number of tÌlnes, you 
lnust pay. 


These covetous wolves ever seek the daintiest lllonsels 
to keep 
For thenlselves; and, had they the means, with even 
the smallest of loss, 



200 


REYNARD THE FOX 


The life of their master to save, about jt they scruples 
would have. 
His liver the \volf ,vould not yielù, not e'en to do good 
to the king! 
A liver, indeed! I say it right out! Twenty ,,
olves, 
of a truth, 
Should be ready to sacrifice life, that the king and our 
idolised queen 
Possession of theirs might retain'; Inuch smaller the 
dalnage woulù be. 
If a seed be of potency void, \vhat good can therefronl 
be derived ? 
The things that occurred in your youth, you cannot 
retrace in your ulind; 
But I can reU1eIn bel' them well, as t.hough they of yes- 
terùay \vere. 
On the n1Ïl'ror the story' was told, just as my father 
desired; 
The \vork \vas en1bellished ,vith gems, and garnished 
\vith tendrils of gold. 
If I could the rnirror but find, I would hazard posses- 
sions and life. 


Reynard, the 1110narch observed, I have well cOlnpre- 
hended your speech, ' 
Have listened to every word of the stories that you 
hft ve rehearsed. 
So great were your father at court, and had he so 
many, forsooth, 
Commendable actions perforn1ed, that still waR in years 
long ago. 
I remember then1 not in the least, and no one has told 
Ine thereof; 
Whereas the transactions of yours are constant]J
 
brought to Iny ears; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


201 


You are ever at S0111e kind of gaIne, at least so I hear 
it affinned. 
If injustice is done you in this, and all are but fabulous 
yarns, 
S0111e good I for once would fain learn; not often to 
happen this seenlS. 


l\ly lord, answered Reynard thereto, I now shall make 
bold, about this, 
To explain nlyself fully to you; for the nlatter nle 
closel v concerns. 
oJ 
Good service to you I have done; think not, I iInplore 
you, that I 
This cast ill your teeth! God forbid! I kno\v that in 
duty 1'111 bound 
To obey you so far as I can. One story, at least, you 
have not 
Let utterly slip fron1 your mind: how, \vith Isengrim, 
I, by good luck, 
A grunter had once hunted down; it squealed, and we 
bit it to death; 
You canle, nJaking bitter cOIn plaint, and said that your 
consort as well 
'Vas conling, a short \vay behind; if some one would 
onl y (-Ii vide 
'\Vith you a slnall portion of food, of help it would be 
to you both. 
Give us \vhereof you have caught, was the claim that 
you made of us then. 
And IsengrÜn said, indeed, yes; yet muttered he under 
his beard, 
So that one could hi111 scarce understand. But I, 011 
the contrary, said: 
1\ly lord, I \vould gruùge you it not, though herds of 
s\vine \vere concerned. 



202 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Say, who is the one to divide? The wolf, you re- 
sponded again. 
::\" O\V Isengrim greatly rejoiced, and, according to habit, 
he shared 
,Vithout any shyness or shame, and gave but a quarter 
to you, 
And your consort a piece of like size, while he set to 
,york on the half. 
This greedily swallowed he dO\Vll and, outside the two 
skinny ears, 
lIe offered rile nought but the snout and just about 
half of the lights; 
lIe kept all the rest for himself, and all the transaction 
you sa". 
Little chivalry sho\ved he us there; DIY king, you 
know it quite well! 
ì T our portion you quickly devoured, yet I noticed, 
ho\vever, that you 
Had your hunger not fully assuaged; though Isengriu1 
,vould it not see, 
But his gnawing and chewing kept up, and offereLI you 
n oUting at all. 
But then you inflicted a blow so hard with your claws 
on his ears, 
That SOlne of his hide \vas torn off; and then, \vith his 
bloody bald pate, 
] [e ran from the place \vith bUlnps on his head, and 
howled with the pain. 
And you to the conl1orant called: Corne back, and learn 
to be shamed ! 
When next you divide, deal better with rne, or I'll 
know what it means. 
Now make yourself off with all speed, and bring SOlue- 
thing further to eat. 
Sire, order you that? I replied, then follow hÏ1u will I 
at once, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


20 3 


And I kno\v that I something can fetch; and you 
were contented \vith this. 
1\lost doltishly then did Isengrim act; he bled and he 
groaned 
And 111urnlured to me; yet urged I him on, and to- 
gether \ve chased 
And caught a young calf; you are fond of the food, and 
\v hell \ve it brought, 
It proved to. be fat; at it heartily laughing, you said in 
IllY pralse 
Full many an affable word; I should be, you Ünagil1ed, 
first-rate 
To send out at the tinle of one's need, and like\vise, 
still further you said: 
Apportion the calf! Then quoth I: One half is a1ready 
your own, 
And a half belongs to the queen; \vhat inside the car- 
case is found, 
,A.s heart, and liver, and lights, belongs, as in reason it 
should, 
To your children; the feet I \vill take, which to nibble 
I very nlurh like; 
And the head Il1ay be kept by the ,volf, the savoury 
III eat that it is. 


The gist of these \voròs having got, you answered: 
Who, pray, has you taught 
To allot in so courtly a way? That, I should like to 
find out. 
I answered: l\fy tea
her is near; this scamp, with tht: 
red-coloured hea(l, 
And bloody bald pate, has hirnself the intelligencp 
opened to Ine. 
I exactly observed ,vhat he did, \vhen the porker thi
 
morning he carved; 



20 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Then learnt I the meaning to seize, of such a division 
as that; 
\T eal or pork nlatters not, I shall now find it easy and 
make no mistake. 


With shame and disgrace were the wolf and his greed 
o verw helnled. 
Of his like are enough to be found I They swallow 
the plentiful fruits 
Of all the estates in the land, as well as the vassals 
thereo:. 
All, indeed, that is good they destroy, and not the 
least spark of remorse 
Can anyone ever expect, and woe to the land where 
they dwell. 


Take notice, nlY master and king, thus oft you in 
honour I've held. 
All I at this 11l01nent possess, or nwy in the future 
obtain, 
I gladly devote to your use, and that of your consort, 
the queen; 
Be it little or ever so IIluch, the most of it all you 
shall take. 
If you think of the calf and the pig, you will see, 
without shado\v of doubt, 
'\Vhere faithful allegiance resides. 'V ould IsengrÜn, 
any way, dare 
With Reynard to rneasure himself? But still, to our 
sorro\v, the wolf 
As chief of your stewards is held, and harasses every 
one. 
Not IDuch for your profit cares he; ùut well he knows 
how the \vhole way, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


20 5 


In promoting his o\vn, to proceed. Thus now he with 
Bruin, indeed, 
Has your l\lajesty's ear, and what Reynard may say is 
but little esteemed. 


My liege, it is true that I'm under a cloud, but I will 
not give way, 
For through \vith it now I must go; and therefore 
pernlit me to say: 
If anyone thinks he has proofs, let him now with his 
witnesses c'ome, 
Himself to the subject confine, and judicially pledge, 
on a bond, 
His goods, or his ear, or his life, in case it may be that 
he lose; 
And I will pledge n1Ïne against his. Thus has it been 
valid in law, · 
From time out of mind; thus let it be now, and the 
whole of 'the case, 
As argued both for and against, in just such a n1anner 
can be, 
In honour, conducted and judged. This now I make 
bold to demand. 


However it be, responded the king, from justice's path 
I can, and I will, not detract; that is something I've 
never endured. 
Of a truth, the suspicion is strong, that particeps 
crlllllnlS you 
In the murder of Lampen became, that messenger 
faithful \vhom I 
So much 10veJ, .and \vhose loss I deplore; grieved 
beyond lneasure I \vas 
'Vhen drawn was his blood-covered head from the 
wallet I'd given to you; 



206 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Bellyn atoned on the spot, that \vicked attendant and 
base ; 
You now Inay, however, the case still further defend 
at the Lar. 
In \vhat I nlyself alll concerned, I lleynard all freely 
forui ve . 
b , 
For he firmly has stood at IllY side in many a critical 
case. 
Has anyone further complaint, \ve are ready to hear 
\vhat it is; 
Let hÍ1n trustworthy witnesses bring, and prosecute all 
of his clainls 
Against Reynard in order and fornl; here, awaiting 
your charges, he stands. 


Most gracious my lord! Reynard said, I give you my 
heartiest thanks. 
To each you give ear and dispense the benefits all of 
the la\v. 
Let nle no\v with solemnity say, with \vhat a dis- 
consolate heart 
I Bellyn and Lalnpen disnlÍssed; I had a foreboding 
I think, 
Of \vhat \vas to happen to Loth; with tenderness loved 
I theltl \vell. 


Thus Reynard's narration and words were garnished 
with skill so adroit, 
That all \vere enforced to believe; he the treasures so 
neatly described, 
And conducted so gravely hinIself, that truth to be 
S p ea'kinO' he seemed' 
b , 
And to con1fort him even they tri
d. And thus he 
deluded the king, 
Who much \vith the riches was pleased, and gladly 
would them have possessed. 


. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


20 7 


To Re)911ard he said: Be content, you shall go on a 
journey and try, 
Far and ,viùe, to discover the lost, so all that is pos- 
sible do. 
If need you 1nay have of n1Y help, it \vill at your ser- 
vice be found. 


Said Reynard in answer to this: Your goodness 1 
gratefully feel; 
These 'words are a cOlnfort to 111e, and reason they give 
Ule to hope. 
To punish foul lllurder and theft is the highest of rights 
you possess. 
The Hlatter to U1e is obscure, yet clear as the day shall 
beCOIl1e. 
'Vith care will J after it look, and trayel by day and 
by night, 
'Vithout allY thought of repose, and question all people 
r see. 
If I learn wl1ere the goods can be found, and then1 run 
not able again 
To get in Iny hands, for lack of due strength, for aid J 
shall ask, 
Which you to 111e then \vill vouchsafe, and the nlatter 
\vill surely succeed. . 
If the treasures to you I safely restore, I shall find at 
the last 
l\fy trouble requited in full, and lilY loyalty proved 
beyond doubt. 


The king with enjoyment this heard; and, without 
reservation, he gave 
...\.ssent to \vhat RCYlJanl had said, who had woven his 
lies with such art 



208 


REYNARD THE FOX 


That the rest all believed him as well; he now had 
permIssIon, once III ore, 
To go and to come he as pleased, and that without 
question or check. 


Lost Isengrim now all control of himself, and, gnashing 
his teeth, 
He said: Gracious lord, you mean thus again to put 
trust in the thief, 
Who you 
wo and threefold befooled? Who can help 
being struck with surprise? 
See you not that the scanlp you deceives, and damage 
to all of us does? 
He never gives voice to the truth, and nothing devises 
but lies. 
But I, with such ease, will not let him off ! You ought 
to know well 
That he is a rascal and false. I know of three capital 
crnnes 
COInInitted by him; get off shall he not, even though 
we Inust fight. 
We are witnesses told to produce, 'what good would it 
do if we did ? 
If they caIne and their evidence gave, for the sitting 
entire of the court, 
Would that be of any effect? He still would do just 
as he pleased. 
Very oft can no witness be had, ought the scalIa wag 
then to go on 
COInn1Ïtting his criInes as before? Who would venture 
to go on the stand ? 
Some stigma he fastens on each, and each from such 
in jury shrinks; 
You and yours it experience too, and in the same boat 
are we all. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


20 9 


To-day I ,viII keep him in hand, he neither shall ,va ver 
nor skulk; 
But shall answer to Ine for his deeds, so now let him 
be on his guard. 



CANTO ELEVEN, 


Ills charges brought Isengl'inl forth, and said: Pray 
attend \vhile I speak! 
Reynard, nlost gracious of kings, the villain that ever 
be was, 
}{emains to the 1>resent unchanged; on infamous things 
he dilates, 

fy kindred and IHe to disgrace; alid thus has he ever 
for Ine, 
And even lnore still for lilY wife, caused nigh unendur- 
able shalne. 
He telnpted her, Ol1ce on a tirne, to waùe through a 
lnarsh to a pond, 
By lnaking her tinnly believe that, every day she \vas 
there, 
Great nUln ùers of fish she could catch. If she in the 
\vater should put 
Her tail, and allo\\' it to hang, then sure ,vould the fiRh 
ùe to bite 
So \v(:'ll that, if fonr of then1 trieLl, not all to be got 
could they eat. 
8he ,vent upon this on her way, and found herself 
S\ViUll11ing, at last, 
Towar<l the sluice-etHl of the pOllc1, \vhere deeper tbe 
\vater, ,vas Inassed, 

\.nù there he indueed her to let lIpr tail in the \vater 
hang dc)'wn. 
The cold to\vards eve was intense, and to freeze so hard 
it began, 
That longer she scarce could hold out; and thus, very 
shortly, her tail 


110 



REYNARD THE FOX 


211 


lIad frozen become in the ice, so fast that she could 
not it raise; 
.And heavy, she thought, \vere the fish, that she had 
thus managed to catch. 
I{eynard, the dastardly thief, obs,erved this, and then 
,vhat he did 
I can trust not nlyself to disclose; he had her, alas, at 
his win. 
He shall not escape froin us now! His villainous con- 
duct shall cost 
()ne úf us t \VO, as you'll see, his life before close of the 
day. 
ThiR tÜne shall his tongue not prevail; I caught hinl, 
indeed, in the act, 
,As r \vas, by accident, led to the top of a hillock near 
by. 
I heard her call loudly for help, the poor cheated thing 
that she ,vas; . 
Fast in the ice she \vas caught, and hÎ1n was not able 
to check; 

 \nLl I, eonling there, was cOinpelled the whole of his 
doings to see; 
In truth, an anlazen1ent it is that IUY heart was not 
broken thereat. 
Reynard, I cried in dislllay, what, in God's nalne, are 
you at ? 
He heard me and fled on his way. I came with a 
sorrowful heart, 
1Vas driven to shi vel' and wade in the cold, frozen 
water, and could 
The ice but \vith trouble break up, in order my wife to 
release. 
,A.las! we prospered not well; she tugged with the 
whole of her Inight, 
And a quarter, at least, of her tail remained firmly 
held by the ice. 



212 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Long and aloud she bemoaned; the peasants, at hear- 
ing the noise, 
Rushed forward and came on our track, and one to 
another they called. 
They hotly ran over the dam, with axes and pikes in 
their hands; 
With distaff the women came too, all nlaking a terrible 
din; 
Catch thenl, they all of thelTI cried, and give theln a 
taste of your clubs. 
I never had felt so affrighted as then, and the saIne was 
confessed . 
By GreedÏInund too; we found it hard work to get off 
with our lives, 
By running till skin fairly snloked. Then rushing 
along canle a scanlp, 
A devilish fellow he was, and armed with a long, 
,vicked pike, ' 
And light on his feet, who after us stabbed, and pressed 
us quite hard. 
If night had not come to our aid, our lives we had cer- 
tainl y lost. 
The women still kept up their cry, the vixenish bel- 
daIns, that we 
Some of their sheep had devoured. Fain had they 
added their blows 
To the horrible insults they cast; our footsteps, ho'w- 
ever, we turned 
From land to the water again; and, quick as the light- 
ning, we slipped 
Back into the rushes at hand, where dared not the 
clowns to pursue; 
For now it quite dark had become, so back they re- 
turned to their honles. 
'We hardly escaped as it was. You see, gracious k
ng, 
in this case, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


21 3 


Treason and murder and rape; of infamous crilnes such 
, as these 
The question is now, and these you will punish se- 
verely, my king. 


When the king this arraignment had heard, he said: 
A case such as this 
Shall be by us righteously judged; let Reynard there- 
over be heard. 
Reynard spake: If it were as described, then certainly 
would the affair 
Not llluch to IllY honour redound; but God, in his 
mercy, forbid 
That facts should be found as set forth; I will not, 
ho\vever, deny 
That fish T have taught her to catch, and also have 
sho\veù her the path 
That best to the pond will conduct, and her to the 
\vater would take; 
But on she so greedily ran, so soon as I spoke of the 
fish, 
That both moderation and road, and instruction as 
well, sbe forgot. 
If she in the ice was held fast, then had she, without 
any doubt, 
Been sitting too long at her post, for if she had pulled 
in good time, 
Enough she of fish would have caught to se.rve for a 
dainty repast. 
Desire in too high a degree is always malign. When 
the heart 
To dissatisfaction incline,s, it always must miss very 
llluch. 
'Yho harbours the spirit of greed, has life with anxiety 
filled., 



21 4 


REYNARD THE FOX 


For no one can give hirH enough. This lesson Dame 
GreedÏInund learned, 
vVben frozen she got in the ice. Poor thanks for my 
trouble she gives; 
But this consolation I have, that help her I honestly 
did, , 
And pushed with the whole of my strength, in trying 
her safely to lift. 
But she was too heavy a weight; and, while 1 was 
doing nlY best, 
Isengrinl chanced to draw near, in ,valking along by 
the shore. 
There, standing above, he called out and, horribly curs- 
ing, caIne down. 
Yes, I \vas in truth n1uch alarmed, his beautiful bless- 
ings to hear; 
Not once, but e'en twice and three times, his terrible 
curses he flung 
At me there; and to scream he began, urged on by a 
fury so wild, 
That I thought: You had better be off, and not any 
longer \vait here; 
Far better to fly than be flayed. The nail on its head 
I had hit, 
:For he ,vould me to pieces have torn. "\Vhenever two 
dogs shall begin 
To fight \vith thenlselves for a bone, with absolute cer- 
tainty nlust 
The one or the other it lose. Thus seelned it to lue 
for the best 
To scaInper away froln his wrath and utter confusion 
of Inind. 
That ferocious he was and ren1ains, ho,v can he den y ? 
Only ask 
Of his wife; for I will have nothing to say to a liar 
like him. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


21 5 


So soon as he fastened his eyes on his wife, frozen fast 
in the ice, 
He viciously s\vore and reviled, and came and assisted 
her out. 
If the peasants made after them then, it certainly was 
for their- good, 
For thus got ill nlotion their blood, and cold they no 
longer could feel. 
N o,v ,vhat is there further to say? It Inean and COll- 
tenlptible is 
For hinl to dishonour his wife with lies such as these 
\v hich he tells. 
Herself you can ask, she is here; and, if what he says 
is the truth, 
"\V ould surely not fail to complain. l\leanwhile I beg 
hUlllbly to ask 
That the case be continued a week, in order my friends 
to consult, 
As to 'what kind of answer is due to the wolf and 
this charge that he brings. 


GreedÏ1nunù thereupon said: In all of your actions and 
thoughts 
Uan nothing be found, as \ve know, but roguery, false- 
hood, and fraud, 
"Villainy, intrigue, and spite. Who your cavilling words 
shall believe 
Will surely be damaged at last; you always take care 
to elnploy 
Confused and inconsequent words. I found it like this 
at the ,veIl. 
Two buckets were hanging therein; in one you had 
stationed yourself, 
For what I have never foulld out, and down to the 
bottom had gone; 



216 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And, finding unable youl:self to get again back to the 
top, 
You blackened the air with your groans. By morning 
I can1e to the \vell, 
And asked: Wh 0 put you dO\Yll there ? You an- 
s\vered : You just in the nick 
Of tin1e, dear gossip, have corne! I yield to you all of 
illY gaIns; 
Get into the bucket up there and down you will COlne, 
and n1ay 
at 
Do\vn here all the fish you can want. At an ill-fated 
moment I went, 
For you I believed, when you said you had eaten such 
numbers of ti
h, 
That a pain in your belly you had. I suffered myself 
to be fooled, 
.And stupidly got in the pail, ,vhich quickly began to 
go do\vn, 
\Vhile the other began to go up, till opposite me you 
arri ved. 
To U1e it quite wonderful seelned, and I, in perplexity, 
asked : 
tIow' chanced it to COllle about thus? In answer to 
Ine you replied: 
Up and down, so it goes in the world, and so goes it 
no\v ,vith us two; 
The course of things ever is thus, while S0111e Inust 
abasement endure, 
Are otHers exalted in turn, in accord with the virtues 
of each. 
Then out of the bucket you jumped and, fast as you 
could, ran a way. 
But, grieving, I 
at in the ,veIl, and all the day long 
was cOlnpelled 
Therein to abide; and blows 'without nUlllber, at eve, to 
endure, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


21 7 


Before I Inade good my escape. SOlne peasants then 
eanle to the well, 
And 
}Jied me do\vn there in the pail, as I, with grim 
hunger annoyed, 
'Vas sitting in sorro\v and fear, and feeling completely 
undone. 
The peasants anlong themselves said: Now see! 
Down belo\v in the pail 
Is sitting, at present, the foe that lessens our nunlber 
of sheep. 
Haul hiIn up, then one of them cried; myself I in read- 
iness hold 
To greet hÜn up here at the edge, and he for our lambs 
shall now pay. 
But the kind of a greeting I got I That pitiful was, 
for there fell 
Blo\v after blo\v on nlY hide. Not once, in the whole 
of my life, 
Had I a more sorrowful day, and scarce came I off 
\vith nl y life. 


In answer to this, Reynard said: The sequel more 
closely regard, 
And you \vill assuredly find how healthful that whip- 
ping has been; 
Although, with respect to myself, I prefer to dispense 
\vith the like. 
As then was the state of the case, was one or the other 
compelled 
To burden hinlself with the blows, for both of us could 
not escape. 
It will aid you to bear this in mind; for then, ill a 
sin1Ílar case, 
You none will so easily trust. The world is brim full 
of deceit. 



218 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Indeed, retorted the wolf, 'what evidence lllore do we 
lleed ? 
No one has damaged me Inore than this rascally, 
treacherous scarnp. 
One Inatter not yet have I told: ho\v he, out in 
SaxollY once, 
In the midst of the tribe of the apes, me led into 
shame and disgrace. 
He there, on some pretext, induced me into a pit to 
descend, 
Knowing quite well in advance that mischief on me it 
would bring. 
If I had not qtúckly run off, lilY sight and my hearing 
\vould there 
Ha ve been lost. Defore I \ven t in he had said, with 
l)lausiLle words, 
His aunt I should find in the place, llleanillg hy that 
the she-ape. 
It irked hÜn to see 111e escape, for he sent 1118, with 
malice prepen
e, 
Down into that horrible nest; I thought I had got 
illto hell. 


Said Reynard in answer thereto, before all the lords of 
the court: 
The wolf most distractedly talks, not quite in his 
senses he seen1S; 
If he of the ape would report, he plainly should say 
\vhat he Ineans. 
T\vo years alld a half have gone by, since into the 
Saxon confines 
He led \vith carousal the way, and I thither \vent ill 
pursuit. 
That is true; the rest is a lie. A nape was there not 
in the place. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


21 9 


He is talking about some baboons; and, never at all, 
will I theln 
Acknow ledge as kinsmen of mine. But Martin the 
ape and his wife, 
Dame Rückenau, relatives are; I both as ,my cousins 
respect, 
And of the connection am proud. The life of a jurist 
he leads, 
And knows the whole lawlike a book. But as to 
those creatures of ,vhom 
Now Isengrim talks, he treats me with scorn. With 
thelll, let 111e say, 
I have nothing whatever to do, they never were kins- 
n1en of n1Ïne. 
They resem LIe the devil in hell, and if the old lady I 
called 
:\Iy aunt, at the tÜne in dispute, I did it with prudent 
intent; 
A.nd nothing thereby did I lose, this much I ,viII 
readily own; 
She treated me well as her guest; or else n1Ïght she 
,veIl have been choked. 


Behold you, my lords, we had gone a little aside from 
the road, 
And round to the back of a hill, "There we came on a 
cavernous pit, 
Deep and glOOlllY and long. N ow here, as accustomed 
he is, 
\Vith hunger felt Isengrinl ill. '\Vhenever has he, of a 
truth, 
Been seen with his Rtomach so full, that he has con- 
tented appeared ? 
And then, unto him I observed: Down here, in this 
cave, may be found, 



220 


REYNARD THE FOX 


No doubt, food enough and to spare; and, doubtless, 
its inmates with us 
Will gladly divide what they have; we come at an 
opportune tin1e. 
But Isengrim said in response: My uncle,' I much 
would prefer 
To wait for you under this tree, for you are, by far, 
the Inore apt 
At making acquaintances new; and if food Le ex- 
tended to you, 
Let 111e be infor1I1ed. The villain thus thought that 
he ,vould, at my risk, 
The outcolne await where he was. Thereupon I 
directed IllY steps 
Do\vn into the cavernous hole; and, shuddering, \van- 
dered I through 
The lengthy and crooked approach, which seemed as if 
never to end. 
But that which I can1e upon then! Such fright 
would I not undergo, 
Twice in the course of my life, for a pile of the rud- 
diest gold. 
Such a nestful of horrible beasts, the large intermixed 
with the small ! 
The mother, indeed, of the brood I took for the devil 
himself. 
Capacious and broad was her mouth, with its big aLd 
detestable teeth; 
Big claws on her hands and her feet, with long and 
most hideous tail 
Set behind at the end of her back; a thing so atrocious 
ha ve I 
Not seen, in the whole of lllY life. The tawny, disgust- 
ing young cubs 
Were all most remarkably formed, like nothing but 
horrible spooks. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


221 


Upon 111e she gruesomely gazed; I wished I was any- 
where else. 
She bigger than Isengrim was, and some of her cubs 
were, indeed, 
Her equal in stature almost. Imbedded in festering 
hay, 
I canle on the sickening brood, all over and over 
besllleared 
'Vith 111Ïre up as far as their ears; while the stink that 
polluted the den 
'Vas \vorse than the brinlstone of hell. To tell you 
the truth u lladorned, 
But little I liked it in there; for of them such a num- 
ber there was, 
'\Vhile I ,vas entirely alone; and dreadful grimaces 
they ITlade. 
I gathered il1Y scattering thoughts, and sought for 
a \vay of retreat, 
But greeted them well- though this was a shan1 
- and friendly behaved, 
As if au acquaintance I was. As aunt I the mother 
addressed, 
And cousins the children I called, and bashful was not 
ill n1Y speech. 
!-Iay God in his lnercy you spare to a long and a pros- 
perous 1ife ! 
"A..re all these dear little ones yours? But really, I need 
not have asked. 
How' pleasant to see then1 it is. Good heavens! ho\v 
brÏIn full of life, 
And thoroughly handsome they are. For sons of 
the king they would pass. 
I give you, a thousand times, joy, that you, with 
descendants of \vorth, 
Thus are augnlenting our race; I rejoice beyond meas- 
ure thereat. 



222 


REYNARD THE FOX 


I think myself now in good luck, to know of such kin's- 
men as these; 
In critical times it may be, that kindred some help can 
supply. 


When honour so great I bestowed, although I in 
earnest was not, 
She showed me, on her part, the same, and me as her 
uncle addressed, 
And like a relation behaved; little indeed as the 
crone 
Is any connection of mine. Yet not for this once 
could it do 
Any harnl to address her as aunt. Meanwhile, I was 
covered with sweat, 
Allover and over, through fright; and yet she lllOSt 
affably said: 
Reynard, dear kinsnlan and friend, most heartily wel- 
come you are; 
I earnestly hope you are well. To you, my ,vhole life, 
I shall feel 
Obliged for this visit of yours; henceforth, you can 
rational thoughts 
To the minds of my children impart, that they may to 
honour attain. 


Such ,vas her manner of talk; and this, in a very few 
words, 
By calling her aunt and sparing the truth, I richly 
deserved. 
I still had an earnest desire to get once again to 
the air, 
But allo\v me to go she would not, and said : You, 
uncle, must not, 
Without sonle refreshment, depart, Remain till some 
food you have had. 



REYNARD THE FOX 


223 


And she brought me a plenty to eat; I could not 
at presen t recall 
The names of the dishes she set; amazed to the utmost 
I was 
As to how she had come by it all. I feasted on venison 
and fish 
And other most relishing game; the whole of it just to 
my taste. 
When all I could eat I had had, then forward she fur- 
thermore brought 
A hunk from a stag she had got, and wished 1118 
to carry it h onle, 
For my wife and my children to eat; and I took 
an affectionate leave. 
Reynard, she said once again, I hope you will visit nle 
oft. 
I promised her all that she wished, and managed to get 
from the place. 
Inside so unpleasant it was, as well for the eyes as 
the nose, 
That I was near dying while there; tried all ] kne\v 
how to get out; 
The passage ran nin1bly along, till the opening I 
reached at the tree, 
And groaning found Isengrin1 there. How are you, 
dear uncle 1 I said. 
Quoth he: I am not at all well, with hunger I soon 
shall be dead. 
I him, out of sympathy, gave the delicate collop of 
roast, 
That with me away I had brought. He this with 
voracity ate, 
And thanked me again and again; but he has for- 
gotten it now. 
When finished he was, he began : Now let Ine kno'\v 
all about those, 



224 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Who make in the cavern their hOl11e. How did you 
find things within? 
Good or bad? ..A..nd I told hiIn the truth, and nought 
but the truth; 
Exactly apprised him of all. The nest was atrocious, 
but still, 
Therein ,vas much delicate food. So soon as he felt 
a de
ire 
His share of the same to receive, his entrance he boldly 
could ruake; 
But he, above all, must avoid saying out what exactly 
he thought. 
If things you would have as you wish, be careful to 
husband the truth! 
I repeated it several times, for if it one foolishly 
has, 
j1"or ever, at tip of the tongue, oppression he evel'Y- 
where finds; 
He stands, i
 all places, behind, and others are called 
to the front. 
In this way I bade hiIn depart, and told him, let 
happen what nlight, 
That he nlust be careful to say what each was desirous 
to hear, 
And he then ,vould be kindly received. These ,vere 
exactly the words, 
l\lost noble n10narch and lord, that conscience impelled 
me to say. 
But he just the contrary did; and, if he got punished 
for that, 
Then let hÎln the punishment bear; he should listen 
to what he is told. 
In truth, are his shaggy locks gray, yet ,visdo1l1 beneath 
would be sought, 
Without any chance of succe8S. Such fellows but 
little esteem 



REYNARD THE FOX 


225 


Good sense or ingenuous thoughts; the worth of all 
wisdoln is kept, 
Froln ga \vky and blullt- \vitted folk, for ever and always 
concealed. 
I faithfully on hin1 enjoiued, this once to be frugal of 
truth. 
I kn<)\v \vhat is proper myself, he proudly responded to 
that; 
And trotted thus into the hole, and well for his trouble 
got paid. 


Behina sat the horrible wife, he thought it was Satan 
hÜnself, 
That before hin} he saw. l\foreover, the cubs ! Now, 
be\vildered, he cried: 
Oh, heavens! \Vhat horrible beasts! Are these little 
\vretches your \vhelps? 
They have the appearance, indeed, of a hellish young 
rabble of fiends; 
To drown theul \vould be the best thing, so that the 
brood III a y itself 
Not spread abroad over the earth. If mine they 
shoulLl happen to be, 
I would strangle theul everyone. With them for 
a bait could be caught 
Young devils, in lllllnbers, with ease; in a bog one 
would onl y require 
Tq fasten then1 \vell to the reeds, the odious, villainous 
brutes; 
::\farsh-rnonkeys they ought to be called, the name 
would exactly theln fit. 
\Vith haste did the 1110ther reply, and uttered some 
violent \vords: 
\Vhat de InOl1 has sent us this guest? Who you has 
invited to COllle, 



226 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And greet us uncouthly like this? And what with 
lilY children have you, 
Good-looking or ugly, to do? Just no,v has departed 
from us 
That learned man, Reynard the fox, ,vho very well 
knows ,vhat he means; 
And he did rny children affirnl, without deviation, to 
be 
Handsolne, ,vell-n1annered, and good; he was perfectly 
ready and glad 
To recognise them as of kin. Not more than an hour 
has gone by 
Since he, standing here in this place, us all gave 
assurance of that. 
If please you as him they do not, why then I must tell 
you, in truth, 
That no one has asked you to come. Pray, understand, 
Isengrim, that. 


At this he dell1anded of her, that dinller at once she 
provide; 
And said: Fetch it here, or I will it help you to find. 
I desire 
No words any further to hear. And then he attempted, 
by force, 
To confiscate some of her stores; a thing that was 
baùly ad vised. 
She threw herself on him forthwith, and bit him and 
savagely scratched 
His skin ,vith her hideous nails, and viciously tore him 
and cIa wed. 
Her children did also the same, they terribly champed 
him and rent; 
Then cried he blue murder and howled, his cheeks 
covered over with blood; 



REYNARD THE FOX 


227 


Himself he tried not to defend, but ran with quick 
strides to get out. 
Wickedly bitten, I saw him emerge, all torn and in 
tatters his skin; 
Split open was one of his ears, and blood freely flowed 
from his nose; 
They'd nipped him with many a wound, and also his pelt 
had contrived 
To cram all together with filth. I asked, as he trod 
from the place: 
The truth have you spoken to her? And thus he 
replied to my words: 
I said to her just 'v hat I thought, and then did the 
wretched old shrew 
1\1e badly disfigure and lame; I would I could meet 
her outside, 
She then should pay dear for it all. How, Reynard, 
appears it to you? 
Did you ever set eyes on such whelps? So horribly 
filthy and vile? 
No sooner I spoke, than it all came about; and as I 
in her eyes, 
No more any favour could find, very badly I fared in 
the hole. 


Are you crazy? I answered thereto; I cautioned you 
well against this. 
I do you most heartily greet, is the proper thing to 
have said. 
Pray how, my dear aunt, do you do? I would also 
ask after the health 
Of those pretty children of yours. I aIn glad both my 
little and big 
Young cousins once nlore to behold. But Isengrinl 
said in reply: 



228 


REYNARD THE FOX 


That \VOUH1U accost as my aunt? And cousins, those 
hideous brats? 
The ùevilluay take the whole lot! Such kinsnlen a 
horror would be. 
Oh, faugh ! Such a dalnnable herd! I never will see 
thenl again. 
:For this \vas he paid \vith such coin. Your judgment 
1l0\V render, Oh king! 
With justice can he now affirlll that by me he was 
tricked? Let hÜn state 
If the matter did not come about, as I have this 
instant expla!ned. 


TheIl IsengrÏIn firmly replied : We shall not, I can 
readily see, 
Detennille this contest with words. Fron1 chiding 
what good do we get? 
Right is right, and wherever it dwells, itself it will 
show in the end. 
You, Reynard, now boldly step forth, if you think its 
abode is with you. 
'\Ve llO\V with each other \vill fight, and then we shall 
kno\v \vhere it is. , 
So llluch you have found to report, as to how, in the 
den of the apes, 
The tonuents of hunger I bore, and yo
 me so faith- 
fully fed; 
Though how, I can't possibly think. It was only a bit 
of a bone 
That you brought; most likely the n1eat you had eaten 
already yourself. 
You stand there and ridicule me, and boldly you talk 
In a way . 
That closely my honour affects. And you, with most 
scandalous lies, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


229 


On me a suspicion have cast, of having a dastardly 
plot 
To injure the king had in mind; and having conceived 
the desire 
Of putting an end to his life; no scruples, however, 
have YOll 
In bragging of treasures to him, ,vhich he would be 
troubled to find. 
You shamefully treated my wife, and that you ,vill 
have to atone. 
These things I no, v lay at your door, with a finn reso- 
lution to fight, 
Concerning the old aud the new; and this 1 say over: 
That you 
Are a murderer, traitor, and thief; and no,v, setting 
life against life, 
'Vein combat ,vill settle the thing, and chiding and 
scolding will enù. 
I tender nlY gauntlet to you, as always sufficient in la,v, 
From every challenger, is. You nlay it retain as a 
gage, 
And soon can our meeting be had. Our lllonarch my 
challenge has heard, 
And all of his barons as ,veIl; and they, I Inost ear- 
nestly hope, 
This battle for right will attend. Not a chance shall 
you have to escape, 
Till the matter is finally closed; and then we shall see 
what is what. 


Reynard now thought "to himself: At risk are posses- 
sions and life! 
He is big and but little am I, and this tin1e should 
111atters with TIle, 
In any way, take a wrong turn, then all my deviees 
and tricks 



23 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Of but little avail ,vill have been; yet let us aw'ait the 
event. 
I think son1e advantage I have; for lately he lost his 
fron t paws. 
If cooler the fool does not get, he surely shall not, in 
the end, 
His way in the lllatter obtain, let the cost be whatever 
it rnay. 


And then, Reynard said to the wolf: It possible, Isen- 
gflm, IS 
That you are a traitor to me; and all of the sundry 
complaints, 
You are thinking to bring against me, are Il1ade up 
entirely of Jies. 
If con1bat you \vi;:;h, I \vill risk it with you, and never 
shall flinch. 
I long such a thing have desired, and here is Iny glove 
in exchange. 


The monarch the pledges received, and both did them 
boldly present. 
At the end of this function, he said : You each lllust 
security aive 
1/ b , 
That to-morrow you fight ,vithuut fail. Both of the 
parties, I think, 
....,\re sadly confused in their lninds, I nothing call Inake 
of their talk. 
III a II instant, as IsengrÏ1u's bail, caIne for\val'd the bear 
and the 'cat; 
And then, upon Reynard's behalf, as vouchers pre- 
sented thelllsel ves 
A son of old l\laltin, the ape, ,vith GrÎlnbart, the 
hadger, conjoined. 
At this, 1)all1e Hückenau said : You, Reynard, rnust 
keep yourself caIrn, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


23 1 


You need all the senses you haye. l\Iy husband, \vho 
now is in Ron1e, 
Your uncle, once taught n1e a prayer, the subject of 
\vhich \vas conlposed 
By the Abbot of Bolton himself; and be to my consort 
it gave, 
To whom he \vas kindly disposed, on a snlall scrap of 
paper transcribed. 
This prayer, so the abbot l1lailltained, has very great 
virtue for those 
About to engage in a fight; one, fasting, Inust read it 
at lHorn, 
And then shall one daily remain insured against danger 
and wani, 
And fully exenlpted fron1 death, as well as fron1 
wounds and frorn pain. 
Take cOlnfort, n1Y nephew in this: that I, in the n10rn- 
ing betin1es, 
Will it over you read, that hope you may have, and 
freedom from fear. 
Dear aunt, then responded the fox, I return you DlY 
heartiest thanks; 
I shall always be n1Ïndful of this. Yet help I must 
ever expect, 
Most, fron1 the right of my cause and the skill I can 
bring into play. 


Together abode Reynard's friends the whole of the 
night, and dispelled 
His cares with hilarious talk. But anxious Dame 
Rückenau ,vas, 
And busy \vith all he might need. With alacrity had 
she him shorn, 
:From head to the tip of his tail, as well as his belly 
and breast; 



23 2 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Aud covered with fat and with oil; and then it was 
made to appear 
That Reynard was fat and rotund, and very well set on 
his legs. 
Take heed, in addition she said, and consider what you 
have to do. 
Hark well to intelligent friends, for that will avail you 
the most; 
Drink well, and retain what you drink; and to the 
arena be sure, 
In the morniug, as prudent, to come; then see that you 
moisten your brush 
All over and over till soaked, and try your opponent 
to hit. 
If you manage his eyes to anoint, 't\vill be the best 
thing you can do, 
For his sight will be clouded at once; and that will be 
useful to you, 
While hÜn it will greatly impede. At first you must 
fearful appear, 
And at once, in the teeth of the wind, as fast as you 
can, run away. 
If he should give chase, then stir up the dust, in order 
his eyes 
To close with excretion and sand. Then spring to one 
side, and yourself 
Adapt to his every Inove; and, while he is wiping his 
eyes, 
In1prove the advanta.ge obtained, and thoroughly 
sprinkle those eyes 
With your aqua fortis again, till totally blind he 
becon1es, 
And longer knows not where he is, then yours shall 
the victory be. 
Dear nephew, just sleep now a bit, and we will you 
surely awake 



REYNARD THE FOX 


233 


When the requisite tin1e has arrived. And now I will 
over you read 
The sanctified words I described, that braced you may 
be by their aid. 
Her hand on his head she in1posed, and recited the 
,vords that she had, 
From l\Iartin, her husband, received, as stated above. 
Then she said: 
Good luck you attend ! You now are secure! The 
saIne were then said 
By Grim bart, his uncle, as well; then led they him off 
to his bed, 
And he peaceably slept. At rise of the sun, the otter 
arrived, 
With the badger, their cousin to wake. They gave 
him a friendly salute, 
And told hin} hitnself to prepare. The otter then 
brought to the roonl 
A tender, delicious young duck, and, handing it to him, 
he said: 
Pray eat; I have it for you, ,vith n1any a spring and a 
Jump, 
At the dan1 by Pimpernel, caught; I hope it my 
cousin will please. 


Good hansel IS that, I declare, quite cheerfully Reynard 
replied, 
A something not lightly to scorn. May God, of his 
grace, you repay, 
For thinking so kindly of me. N ow himself up to 
eating he gave, 
And drinking quite freely as well; and then, ,vith his 
kinsmen, he ,vent 
To the spot on the un,vrinlded sand, where they 
were intended to fight. 



CANTO TWELVE. 


'VHEN eyes upon Reynard he set, as now in the ring 
he appeared, 
With body clean shaven and smooth, and over and 
over bedaubed 
'Vith oil and perfidious fat, with laughter the king was 
convulsed. 
You fox, who that has you taught? he exclain1ed. 
With justice, inrleed, 
You Reynard, the Fox, lllay be called; a trickster in- 
cessant you are. 
Some hole you in all places kno\v, and how to Dlake 
use of it too. 


Quite low Reynard bowed to the king, and also es- 
pecially low 
To the queen, who sat by his side; then caIne he; with 
spirited bounds, 
Inside of the ring, \vhere the \voU, \vith nUlnerous 
kinsn1en and friends, 
His appearance already had made, all wishing defeat 
to the fox ; 
And lnany a choleric word, and many a nlenace he 
heard. 
But Lynx and Lupardns at length, who kept the arena, 
brought forth 
The sacred nlelnentos, on which now both the contest- 
ants made oath, 
The wolf and the fox, regarding the nlatter which eaeh 
would Dlaintain. 


234 



REYNARD THE FOX 


235 


Isengrim swore, with vehement \vords and threatening 
looks, 
That Reynard a traitor and thief, as "'
ell as a murderer, 
was; 
Involved in all kinds of Inisdeeds; in rape and adultery 
caught; 
In every nlatter was false; and life against life must 
be staked. 
Then Reynard. made oath, at once, in return, that noth- 
ing he knew 
Of one of these infamous crimes; as ever did Isengrinl 
lie, 
And false]y, as usual, swore; but still he \vould never 
succeed 
In passing his falsehoods for truth, at any rate, no\v he 
would not. 
As follo\vs the stewards then spake: Let each carry 
into effect 
\Vhat no\v is inculnbent on each, and soon will the 
righ t be revealed. 
The big and the little vacated the ring, these two, by 
thenlsel ves, 
Therein to confine. Then quickly to whisper the she- 
ape began: 
To what I have told you attend; forget not my counsel 
to heed. 
\Vith cheerfulness, Reynard replied: The good exhor- 
tation you gave, 
1\lore valorous nlakes me to feel. Rest easy, for now I 
shall not 
The tricks or the boldness forget, by \vhich I have 
managed to come 
Froln many a peril nlore ùire, into which I have oftèn 
been thrown, 
\Vhen I this and that have acquired, for whjch nothing 
yet has been paid. 



23 6 


REYNARD THE FOX 


And boldly n1Y life has been risked. At present then 
\v hy should I not 
COIne forward the scoundrel to meet? I certainly hope 
to disgrace 
Both hÜn and his genus entire, and honour to bring 
upon mIne. 
I him will serve out for his lies. At this, they were both 
of them left 
Together inside of the ring, and the others looked 
eagerly on. 


Isengrim wild and ferocious appeared; extending his 
cIa \VS, 
Thenceforward he canle with forcible springs and jaws 
open wide. 
But Reynard, nlore active than he, sprang off fron1 his 
furious foe, 
And quickly his rough, shaggy tail \vith his aqua fortis 
he soaked, 
Änd whisked it about in the dust, in order to fill 
it with sand. 
Now, Isengrin1 thought, he is n1ine; in a moment the 
miscreant struck 
Rin1 over the eyes with his tail, when vanished both 
hearing and sight. 
This trick ",-as an old one of his; already had many 
poor chaps 
Given the virulent strength of his aqua fortis a 
test. 
He had blinded so IsengrÜn's cubs, as in the beginning 
was told, 
And no\v he their father would In ark. vVhen he his 
antagonist's eyes 
Had lathered like this with the stuff, he sprang away 
sideways and put 


, 



REYNARD THE FOX 


231 


Himself in the wind, then beat up the sand, and 111uch 
of the dust 
Drove into the eyes of the wolf, who, by whisking and 
rubbing it in 
In bis haste, did the worst he could do, and greatly 
auglneuted his pain. 
On the other hand Reynard contrived, ,vith acumen, 
his tail to e [nploy ; 
He struck his opponent ane,v, and rendered him thor- 
oughly hlind. 
It \vretchedly \vent ,vith the ,volf, for care took the fox 
to inlprove 
The ad vantage he thus had obtained; and, soon as he 
canle to observe 
The bedewed, snlarting eyes of his foe, he began, with 
impetuous bounds, 
To assail hill} with powerful blows, and bring into 
vigorous play 
His nails as well as his teeth, antI ever his eyes to 
anoint. 
Half crazed, the \volf scrambled about; then him to 
make ganH:
 uf began 
Reynard InOl'e boldly, and said: Sir \V olf, you have 
oft, in the past, 
Choked rnany an innocent lamb; and also, in course of 
your life, 
Gulped many Ïlnmaculate beasts; I hope they'll be 
a LIe, henceforth, 
The blessings of rest to enjoy; and that you may, in 
any event, 
Be willing to leave them in peace, and take benediction 
for pay. 
A penance like this ,viII be good for your soul, and 
strikingly so, 
If caIlnly your end you await. This tilne, rest assured, 
you will not 



23 8 


REYNARD THE FOX 


Fron) me in escaping suc
eeJ.; appease me you nlust 
with your prayers; - 
Then mercy extend you I ,viII, and see that your life 
is preserved. 


Hastily Reynard said this, and had his opponent, IT18an- 
while, 
Steadfastly seized by the throat, expecting hirn thus to 
subdue; 
But IsengrÜn, stronger than he, then savagely roused 
hiulself up, 
And tore hÍlnself suddenly free. N ow Reynard laid 
hold of his face, 
Inflicted a terrible ,vound, and one of his eyes he con- 
trived 
Aùroitly to pluck from his head; and blood ran below 
fron) his nose. 
Reynarù cried out: This pleases me well! This Ineans 
nlY success! 
The 
olf to lose courage began; his blood and the loss 
of his eye 
HiIn out of his n1ind nearly drove; forgetting his pain 
and his ,voullds, 
})irectly on ReynarJ. he sprang, and forced him below 
to the earth. 
Thefox no,v begall to feel ill, and little his wisdom availed, 
For one of his forenlost pa,vs, ,vhich he had. Inade use 
of as hands, 
IseugriIn hurriedly seized, and held ,vith his teeth like 
a VIce. 
In pain Reynard lay on the ground, and fear, at that 
instant, he felt 
Of losing entirely his hand; and a thousand ideas con- 
cei ved. 
Then Isengrinl bello \ved these words, in a deep alid 
sepulchral voice: 



REYNARD THE FOX 


239 


Your hour, you thief, has arrived! Surrender you no,v 
, on the spot, 
Or else you dead I ,vill strike, for all of your fraudulent 
deeds. 
}\Iy debt to you 1l0'V I will pay; to you little help has 
it been, 
The dust to stir up, your bladder to drain, your hide 
to have shaved, 
.Aud body ,vith grease to besmear. ,V oe to you no,v ! 
you haye done 
Such evil to nle ,vith your lies, and ruined the sight of 
nlY eye; 
But no,v you shall not get a ,vay; surrender, or else I 
,vill bite. 


Thought Reynard at this: I am now in a fix, and ,yhat 
can Ida ? 
If give I not in, he puts nle to death; and if I give in, 
J)ishonour for ever is n1Íne. This punishnIent well I 
deserve, 
:For him I too badly have used, too grossly offensive 
ha ve been. 
,r\,nd then honied phrases he tried, in order his foe to 
appease. 
1 )ear uncle, to hinl he relnarked, I shall, ,vith lnuch 
pleasure, becorne 
One of your vassals at once, ,vith everything I possess; 
.A.nd gladly will go as a pilgriul for you to the sacred 
tom b, 
To the Holy Land, into every church, and bring you 
therefrom 
Indulgences plentiful back. The sallIe will undoubt- 
edly tend 
To the profit and good of your soul; and over enough 
shall be left 



24 0 


REYNARD THE FOX 
, 


For both of your parents, as wen, that in life everlast- 
ing they nlay 
This benefit also enjoy; who does such assistance not 
need ? 
I honour you nluch as the Pope; and now, by the gods, 
do I swear 
A sacred, inviolate oath, that from now to futurity's 
end, 
I will, \vith the whole of my kin, be ever in bondage 
to you. 
\Vithout internlission we all at your service will be. 
This I s'wear 1 
'Vhat 1 to the king would not grant, is no\v freely 
offered to you. 
If you nlY proposal accept, one day shall the kingdoln 
be yonrs. 
Then all I anl able to catch will I order to you to be 
brought, - 
Geese and ducks and poultry and fish, - ere I the 
least part 
Of any such food shall consunle; to you and your 
children and \vife 
Shall the pick of it always be left. I will, in addition, 
with zeal, 
Take care that your life is made safe, no evil shall 
ever you touch. 
I crafty aln called, and you have the strength, so 
together \ve can 
Great deeds, I irnagine, perform. If each by the other 
we stand, 
The one with his might, the other with skill, who can 
us subdue? 
If one with the other we fight, it only vexation will 
bring. 
This thing I should never have done, if I but a decent 
excuse 



REYNARD THE FOX 


24 1 


IIad kno,vn for refusing to fight; you challenged, hovv- 
ever, and I 
Had nothing to do but accept, if only in honour's 
behalf. 
But courtly nlyself I have borne, and, during the 
course of the strife, 
1\ at all uf IllY streugth have displayed; for seemed it 
to HIe that it nl ust 
Tu honour luost fully redound, my uncle forbearance 
to show. 
If hatred to you I had borne, it otherwise with you 
had gone. 
SJight are the \vounds you've received; and if, by 
unlucky rllis
hance, 
The use of your eye is Ï1npaired, for that I am heartily 
grieved. 
The best of the nlatter is this: that I a restorative 
kno\v, 
And if it to you I impart, then thankful to me you 
,viII feel. 
Though even your eye should be gone, yet \vell if you 
otherwise get, 
That always a cOlllfort will be; for, when you lie down 
to your sleep, 
One window alone you Inust close, while we shall 
have double the care. 
In order your anger to calm, nlY relatives all, straight 
away, 
Themsel ves shall before you prostrate; my wife and 
my children, as well, 
In the presence, at once. of the king, and in this assem- 
bIage's sight, 
Shall make intercession for me, and beg that you váll 
me forgive, 
And let me depart \vith my l